Wooden sculptures

The Musée Zadkine’s collection contains twenty-four sculptures in a variety of types of wood, forming "An entire people standing, sculpted out of wood". They testify to the sculptor's attachment to this material throughout his life: from the first interwoven figures of The Harvest in 1918 to the monumental Prometheus, dating from 1955-1956, to the last figure of Orpheus, which Zadkine carved in elm wood in 1960 and left unfinished.

This predilection for wood, this intimate connection with nature, came to him in his childhood spent on the banks of the Dnieper and in the forests of Russia. In his work, the memory of the tree is always present, preserved by the action of the sculptor: the Venus Caryatid, leaves the trunk exposed in its base, the Torsos evoke the forest in their verticality. It was through wood that Zadkine came to sculpture, after being initiated in the techniques of carving by a maternal uncle. "At heart, I have always been a carpenter, who, instead of making a table or a door, was led to carve images in wood".