Boy and Duck
Frederick William MacMonnies (American, New York 1863–1937 New York)
1895–96, cast 1901
29 3/4 x 23 1/2 x 13 3/4 in. (75.6 x 59.7 x 34.9 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1922
American Beaux-Arts sculpture reached its most baroque phase in the work of Frederick MacMonnies. His best groups are animated with an exuberance that owes more to his affinity for contemporary sculpture in France, where he spent his mature years, than to his apprenticeship with the American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Modeled in Paris "Boy and Duck" depicts a laughing boy delighting in his captured prize duck. The duck and ducklings spout water from their open mouths, and the implied noise and confusion of the moment are vividly evoked. The theme of a nude boy struggling with a feisty animal extends back to the ancient art that MacMonnies so admired in Italy. MacMonnies presented the first cast of this fountain figure as a gift to his native city of Brooklyn, New York, for the Vale of Cashmere in Prospect Park. This cast was stolen in 1941. The Metropolitan's cast was purchased from the artist in 1922 and stands on a base of Sienna marble with applied bronze decoration.
Artist / Maker / Culture
Object Type / Material