Henri Gaudier was born near Orleans in France. In 1910 he met a Polish woman, Sophie Brzeska, and though they did not marry, they joined their names together. After moving to London in 1911, Gaudier-Brzeska established close links with the leading figures in London's literary and artistic avant garde, including Wyndham Lewis and Epstein. He was an original member of the vorticist group, launched in the summer of 1914. By the age of twenty-three, Gaudier-Brzeska had become one of the most radical sculptors working in Britain. He left Britain to join the French army and was killed in action in June 1915.