Charles Grafly (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1862–1929 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
28 x 12 x 9 3/4 in. (71.1 x 30.5 x 24.8 cm)
Gift of J. O. Tanner, 1949
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
Grafly and Tanner (1859-1937) were friends from their student years, first in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and later in Paris at the Académie Julian. Grafly, who became Philadelphia's most influential academically trained sculptor, modeled this bust during his second trip to Paris in 1896. The painted plaster, the first in his series of portraits of fellow artists, features hallmarks of the Beaux-Arts style: loose and vital surface treatment coupled with a highly naturalistic likeness. The plaster medium reflects the immediacy of the artist's touch more than marble or bronze. The portrait was a gift of friendship to Tanner, who enjoyed a successful career as an expatriate painter of religious scenes such as Flight Into Egypt displayed nearby. Tanner displayed the bust in his Paris studio, and his son Jesse subsequently presented it to the Metropolitan.
Signature: [left side]: Grafly / Paris 96
the artist, died 1937; his son, Jesse O. Tanner, until 1949