The Table of Silence, along with The Endless Column and The Gate of the Kiss, is one of the three pieces of monumental sculpture of the Monumental Ensemble from Targu-Jiu — a masterpiece of the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi. The ensemble is a tribute to the heroes who fell during the First World War. The three monumental sculptural components, The Table of Silence, The Gate of the Kiss, and The Endless Column, are arranged on the same axis, oriented from west to east, with a total length of 1,275 m.
The table of silence, made of Banpotoc stone, represents the dinner before the battle in which the fighters will participate. Time is also present, being represented and also quantified by the circular arrangement of the 12 hourglass chairs.
The work was made in 1937, in a first version, from Campulung stone, in the form of a simple, low, peasant table, composed of a board of metal sheets (200x 45 cm) and a foot (160 × 45 cm). The location of the initial table was the same as that of the final version. Probably dissatisfied with its size, in 1938 he ordered at a workshop in Deva, according to his drawings, a new table, made of Banpotoc stone, with new dimensions for the board (215 × 45 cm) and the foot (175 × 45 cm). However, this intermediate version was never placed in position. The sculptor resorted to a combination of the first two, placing the board of the first version as a leg and that of the second version as a board, thus ensuring a new interior proportion and monumentality.
No chairs were placed around The Table of Silence until the combinatorial version was arranged. The chairs, 12 in number, were ordered together with the second version of the table, at the workshop in Deva. They were shaped like an hourglass, made of Banpotoc stone,
Around The Table of Silence, in 1938, the round hourglass chairs were grouped, two by two, but the artist did not leave them like this, placing them, instead, symmetrical to the table and between them, emphasizing the imaginary presence of a significant circle.
The meaning of Brancusi’s creation has been the subject of many interpretations. One of them is that The Table of Silence represents the Last Supper, in which the 12 apostles are around Jesus. The 12 chairs around the table are the Apostles, and the Table represents Jesus himself.
The table is also a symbol of family reunion and meditation, Brancusi’s wish being for his work to determine the rebirth of this ancient ancestral custom.