Overall: 68.6 cm (27 in.)
Gift from a Friend 1938.290
© 1894, Paris
This piece is a reduction of the original bronze created for a large niche in the brick-and-shingle mansion of Joseph H. Choate, a wealthy trial lawyer. Choate had commissioned the architectural firm McKim, Mead, and White to design Naumkeag, his estate in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Choate left the choice of sculptor
up to the architect Stanford White. William MacMonnies also entered the plaster cast for this work in the Paris Salon of 1890.
MacMonnies' father was a Scottish immigrant; his mother was the niece of Benjamin West, the American-born painter and long-serving president of England's Royal Academy. In New York MacMonnies studied under Augustus Saint-Gaudens (also in this exhibition) before going to Paris, achieving critical success at the Salon of 1889. Despite living in France, most of his commissions came from the United States and were often secured with the help of Saint-Gaudens and White. One of the first American sculptors to copyright his life-size or near life-size sculptures, MacMonnies successfully mass-produced his figures in smaller sizes to sell to the middle class.
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