Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Rodman de Kay Gilder

Artist:
Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, Dublin 1848–1907 Cornish, New Hampshire)
Date:
1879, cast probably 1880
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
13 1/2 x 16 7/8 in. (34.3 x 42.9 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Morris K. Jesup Fund and Mr. and Mrs. Richard J. Schwartz Gift, 1994
Accession Number:
1994.50
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 764
In one of Saint-Gaudens’s earliest representations of childhood’s innocence, the cherubic head of Rodman de Kay Gilder (1877-1953) floats on a field of bronze. Saint-Gaudens excerpted this head study of the toddler from portrait of Richard Watson Gilder’s family completed several months earlier (2002.445). Saint-Gaudens’s love of technical experimentation in his sculpture is evident in the scumbled treatment of hair and clothing resembling thickly-applied painted pigment, the wispy horizontal striations of the background recalling etching, and the cornice-like architectural element above. Saint-Gaudens was particularly pleased by the quality of this bronze, which he "cast on this side of the ‘Pond’" (rather than in Paris), at a time when the American art bronze casting industry was coming of age.
Signature: [upper right]: • FE / A ST G [monogram] / CIT

Inscription: [lower center]: • RODMAN • DE KAY • GILDER • PARIS • SEPTEMBER • 1879 •
the sitter's father Richard Watson Gilder, ca. 1880–d. 1909; Rodman de Kay Gilder, d.1953; by descent in family until 1993; [Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, 1993–1994]
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