Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Homer Schiff Saint-Gaudens

Artist:
Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, Dublin 1848–1907 Cornish, New Hampshire)
Date:
1882; carved 1906–7
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
20 1/4 x 10 3/8 in., 66lb. (51.4 x 26.4 cm) Framed: 32 1/8 x 22 1/4 x 3 1/4 in. (81.6 x 56.5 x 8.3 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Jacob H. Schiff, 1905
Accession Number:
05.15.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
Here, Saint-Gaudens depicted his seventeen-month-old son, Homer Schiff Saint-Gaudens (1880–1958), seated in a child’s chair, the folds of his garment escaping its confines and his pudgy left hand gripping its arm. As the inscription, rendered in the sculptor’s characteristic lettering style, attests, the original portrait in bronze was presented to Dr. Henry Shiff, Saint-Gaudens’s Paris confidant and Homer’s namesake (with a slight variation in spelling). The sculptor kept another bronze on a wall of his Thirty-Sixth Street studio in New York City; it is visible in the background of Kenyon Cox’s painting of Saint-Gaudens (08.130).
Signature: [at top]: TO • MY • FRIEND • DOCTOR • HENRY • SCHIFF • THIS PORTRAIT • / OF MY SON HOMER • SCHIFF SAINT-GAVDENS • AT • THE • AGE • OF • SEVENTEEN • MONTHS • AVGVSTVS • SAINT / GAVDENS • NEW • YORK • FEBRVARY • M•D•C•C•C•L•X•/•X •I•I•
Commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1905
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