Bitter and the architect Richard Morris Hunt (1827-1895) collaborated on the execution of some of the most lavishly decorated American buildings of the early 1890s. After the completion of the Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island, owner William K. Vanderbilt commissioned Bitter to carve marble relief portraits of Hunt and Jules Hardouin-Mansart who had designed Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles, a nod to the great French tradition in which Hunt worked. This cast was produced in bronze in 1892, presumably from the original plaster model (1891; Art Institute of Chicago) and descended in the Hunt family.
Signature: [lower center]: Karl Bitter–Sculpter
Inscription: [at right]: RICH. MORRIS. HUNT.; [at left]: A.D. 1891
Marking: [lower left]: Cast by THE Henry-Bonnard Bronze Co. / New York. 1892
Richard Morris Hunt, New York, 1892–d. 1895; his son, Richard Howland Hunt; his son, Frank Carley Hunt, Bridgeport, Connecticut; his daughter, Catharine Hunt Paxton, New York, until 1978; [Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, April 28, 1978, no. 701]; Erving Wolf Foundation, 1978