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Diana

Artist:
Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, Dublin 1848–1907 Cornish, New Hampshire)
Date:
1892–93, cast 1928
Medium:
Bronze, gilt
Dimensions:
101 3/4 x 53 1/2 x 14 1/8 in. (258.4 x 135.9 x 35.9 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1928
Accession Number:
28.101
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 700
Aware of Saint-Gaudens’s desire to model a female nude, the architect Stanford White (1853–1906) gave him the commission for a weathervane for the tower of Madison Square Garden (demolished 1925). The first, eighteen-foot-tall sculpture proved too large and was replaced in 1894 by a streamlined version, five feet shorter. It became one of New York’s most popular landmarks, and the sculptor capitalized on its success by issuing numerous reductions. This cast is a half-size model of the second version, produced from a cement cast once owned by White. Saint-Gaudens eschewed the traditional full-bodied interpretation of Diana, the Roman goddess of the moon and the hunt, focusing instead on simple, elegant lines and a strong silhouette.
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