Harriet Whitney Frishmuth (American, 1880–1980)
83 1/2 x 49 5/8 x 28 1/2 in. (212.1 x 126.1 x 72.4 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1927 (27.66)
In the early twentieth century, sculptures of dancing women were produced in great numbers, inspired in part by the success of dancers Isadora Duncan, Loïe Fuller, and Anna Pavlova. Frishmuth often turned to dancers for her sculptural themes and employed them to pose for her with musical accompaniment. Shown stretching upward and outward in imitation of a living vine, this lyrical nude balances on tiptoe in the ecstasy of performance, a grapevine suspended in her hands. Bunches of grapes lie at the figure's feet. The first version of this work, a statuette 11-1/4 inches high, was enormously popular, cast in an edition of 396. In 1923, Frishmuth enlarged the sculpture to monumental scale, using Desha Delteil of the Fokine ballet as her model.