Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, Dublin 1848–1907 Cornish, New Hampshire)
10 5/8 x 6 3/4 in. (27 x 17.1 cm)
Gift of Mrs. F. W. Adlard, 1910
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 764
Saint-Gaudens and Francis Davis Millet (1846-1912) traveled in the same artistic circles, first meeting in Rome in 1873-74, and then painting murals for Henry Hobson Richardson’s Trinity Church in Boston in 1876-77. Sculptor and painter/writer further solidified their bonds of friendship in Paris, and in March 1879 Saint-Gaudens, along with Samuel Clemens, stood in as witnesses at Millet’s wedding at Montmartre. This portrait of the groom, with a painter’s attributes of pallet and brushes, was likely a gift to the newlyweds. Here Saint-Gaudens delighted in rendering various textures, from the nubby coat to the wavy hair to the fine horizontal lines in the background. Millet’s daughter donated this cast to the Metropolitan in 1910; two years later, in April 1912, he died in the sinking of the Titanic.
Signature: [top edge]: AVGVSTVS • SAINT-GAVDENS • FECIT •
Inscription: [lower quarter]: FRANCIS • DAVIS • MILLET • / AETAT[I]S • SV[A]E • XXXII PARIS • / MARCH • M • D • C • C • C • LXX • / IX
Mrs. F. W. Adlard, daughter of the sitter, until 1910