Elihu Vedder

Charles Keck American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

Keck modeled this portrait of artist Elihu Vedder (1836–1923) while living at the American Academy in Rome. Combining in-the-round and low-relief sculpture, Keck terminated the bust with a frieze of figures inspired by his subject’s drawings for an 1884 edition of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. Instead of following the poem’s original sequence, Keck selected images for compositional and symbolic effect, distilling Vedder’s drawings “The Soul’s Answer,” “The Cup of Death,” “The Cup of Despair,” and “The Magdalen,” among others.

Elihu Vedder, Charles Keck (American, New York 1875–1951 New York), Bronze, American

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