Kenyon Cox (American, Warren, Ohio 1856–1919 New York)
1887, replica 1908
Oil on canvas
33 1/2 x 47 1/8 in. (85.1 x 119.7 cm)
Gift of friends of the artist, through August F. Jaccaci, 1908
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 764
Cox and Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848–1907) met in Paris in the 1870s and exchanged portraits in 1887: an oil painting for a bronze relief. The original canvas was lost in Saint-Gaudens’s 1904 studio fire, so Cox created this replica in time for the Metropolitan Museum’s 1908 memorial exhibition of the sculptor’s work. Saint-Gaudens is shown in his New York studio, modeling in clay a portrait relief of the artist William Merritt Chase. A bronze likeness of the sculptor’s son, Homer, hangs on the wall (the Museum owns a marble replica; 05.15.2). Cox cleverly echoed his friend’s portrait reliefs by showing him in profile.
Signature: [at lower right]: KENYON COX--1908
Inscription: [on the back]: Portrait of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, by Kenyon Cox-- / Original Painted, 1887-- / Burned 1904-- / This Replica Painted, 1908.