Song of the Wave

Richard Edwin Brooks American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

The theme of the bather was prevalent in the late nineteenth century, since it gave an artist the opportunity to demonstrate expertise in modeling a nude figure, the most elevated in the hierarchy of subject matter and the mark of a well-trained academic sculptor. Here a graceful female sits on the shore, her right arm demurely crossed her chest. At the Paris Salon of 1895 Brooks exhibited a plaster statue entitled "Chant de la vague," probably an early version of this work, where it was accorded an honorable mention. He showed a similarly titled bronze statuette at the Salon of 1911; whether or not that bronze and the Metropolitan’s are the same object is not possible to determine, but no other casts of the sculpture have come to light.

Song of the Wave, Richard Edwin Brooks (American, Braintree, Massachusetts 1865–1919 Washington, D.C.), Bronze, American

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