Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Infant Ceres

Artist:
Erastus Dow Palmer (American, Pompey, New York 1817–1904 Albany, New York)
Date:
1849–50; carved 1853
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
14 1/2 x 10 x 6 in. (36.8 x 25.4 x 15.2 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Gift of William Nelson and Gift of Misses Alice and Evelyn Blight and Mrs. W. P. Thompson, by exchange, 1997
Accession Number:
1997.17
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
"Infant Ceres" was the first sculpture in the round that Palmer modeled after turning away from his work as a cameo cutter. It is based on one of his children, logically, his two-year-old daughter Fanny, who was born in 1848. She is presented in the guise of the infant Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture and abundance. The hair, decorated with a thin fillet, is pulled back and adorned with blossoms. Sheaves of wheat, Ceres’s identifying attribute, encircle the figure and are tied in front.
Signature: [back]: PALMER / SC. / 1853
Possibly John Boyd, Albany, N.Y.; C. C. Alger, Hudson, N.Y.; or Edwin D. Morgan, New York
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