Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

The Children of Prescott Hall Butler

Artist:
Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, Dublin 1848–1907 Cornish, New Hampshire)
Date:
1880–81; carved 1906–7
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
24 1/2 x 36 in., 161lb. (62.2 x 91.4 cm) Framed: 35 3/4 x 46 x 3 1/4 in. (90.8 x 116.8 x 8.3 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Jacob H. Schiff, 1905
Accession Number:
05.15.1
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 763
Saint-Gaudens modeled this portrait of Charles Stewart Butler (1876–1954) and Lawrence Smith Butler (1875–1954) as a surprise gift from the architect Stanford White to the boys’ father, Prescott Hall Butler, a New York lawyer. The brothers are dressed in Scottish Highland attire: jackets and pleated kilts, with sporrans hanging from their waists. The endless ribbon at the upper left is inscribed twice with a line from the first book of Virgil’s Aeneid: "DABIT DEVS HIS QVOQVE FINEM" (The god will bring an end to this, too). This carving was one of three portraits of children commissioned by the Metropolitan from Saint-Gaudens in 1905.
Signature: [upper right]: FE / A ST G (monogram) / CT; [lower right]: MODELED • BY • AVGVSTVS • SAINT-GAVDENS • NEW- / YORK • OCTOBER • EIGHTEEN • HVNDRED • AND • / EIGHTY - MARCH • EIGHTEEN • HVNDRED • AND • EIGHTY • ONE

Inscription: [upper left on a ribbon] DABIT / DEVS / HIS / QVOQVE FINEM / DABIT / DEVS / HIS QVOQVE FINEM; [left center] CHARLES • STEWART • BVLTER • IN • HIS • FOURTH / YEAR •; [right center] LAWRENCE • SMITH • BUTLER • IN • HIS • SIXTH • / YEAR •; [lower left] TO • MY • RIEND • PRESCOTT • HALL • BUTLER • S / W/ SIXTH • OF • JVLY • EIGHTEEN • HVNDRED • AND • EIGHTY • ONE
Commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1905
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