Born in France, Gaston Lachaise immigrated to the United States when he was 24 years old. He modeled “Woman (Elevation)” after Isabel Dutaud Nagle, whom he married in 1917, telling her, “I want to create a miracle with it . . . as great as you.” Although it definitely evokes his subject’s appearance, this sculpture represents Lachaise’s first full-scale expression of the idealized female form that would come to dominate his art. The figure’s long legs support a voluptuous torso that recalls ancient fertility goddesses and a disproportionally small waist that accentuates her ample hips and breasts. Modernists like Lachaise were fascinated by preclassical art because they believed it possessed a primitive vitality absent from later art forms.