Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Young Sophocles Leading the Chorus of Victory after the Battle of Salamis

John Talbott Donoghue (1853–1903)
1885, cast 1927
92 1/4 x 53 x 32 1/2 in. (234.3 x 134.6 x 82.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1927
Accession Number:
Not on view
In his best-known work, Donoghue represented Sophocles, the Greek dramatist of tragedy, in the year 480 B.C., at age sixteen. After the Athenians’ decisive defeat of the Persians in sea combat, the Battle of Salamis, the exultant group erected a trophy. Because of his bodily prowess and musical talent, young Sophocles was elected to lead the chorus of victory. He is poised, mouth open in song, as his right hand releases the strings of his lyre. The original plaster was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1886 and was awarded an honorable mention. At the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, the piece won a first-place prize. In 1917, the Metropolitan Museum purchased a plaster cast from the Art Institute of Chicago, and ten years later, this bronze was replicated from it.
Inscription: [in Greek]: Sophocles / Salamis

Marking: [foundry mark, back of base]: GORHAM CO. FOUNDERS
Commissioned for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1927
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