Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, Dublin 1848–1907 Cornish, New Hampshire)
18 5/8 x 9 1/4 x 6 1/2 in. (47.3 x 23.5 x 16.5 cm)
Gift of Allan H. Smith, 1990
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 736
The American singer Eva Rohr was studying opera in Rome when Saint-Gaudens depicted her playing the part of Marguerite in Charles Gounod’s opera Faust. The character was associated with innocence and purity – themes reinforced by her demure downward gaze and the crucifix around her neck. The inscription on the Gothic-style pedestal is an English translation of Marguerite’s first words to Faust, in which she chastely rebukes her impassioned suitor’s offer to accompany her home.
Signature: [edge of right shoulder]: Aug St Gaudens / 1872 ROMA
Inscription: [front of base]: I'm neither / Lady neither fair / And home I can / go without your care / Faust
Hannan Rohr Tuffs, 1872; by descent in Rohr family; Allan H. Smith, until 1990