Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Head of a Young Artist

Artist:
James Earle Fraser (American, Winona, Minnesota 1876–1953 Westport, Connecticut)
Date:
by January 1920, carved 1933
Medium:
Rosato di Milano marble
Dimensions:
17 x 8 1/4 x 14 1/4 in. (43.2 x 21 x 36.2 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1933
Accession Number:
33.93
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
Fraser enjoyed considerable success as a portraitist even before he began to create his better-known public monuments. "Head of a Young Artist" is traditionally identified as a portrait of J. Olaf Olson, a young American painter of Norwegian descent. In 1933 Fraser translated the portrait into marble, according to one contemporary source, carving it from a block of marble removed from the Milan Cathedral during renovations. Pointing marks made in the marble during the carving process are visible in the hair and around the rough stone near the neck. The meditative aspect of this finely modeled head combined with the particular translucency of the stone make it an exceptional portrait in Fraser's oeuvre.
Signature: [right shoulder]: J. FRASER
[right side]: JAMES EARLE FRASER
the artist, untill 1933
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