Augustus Saint-Gaudens American
“Amor Caritas” represents the perfection of Saint-Gaudens’s vision of the ethereal female, a subject that he modeled repeatedly, beginning in 1880. The elegant figure in a frontal pose with free-flowing draperies and downcast eyes also appears in the caryatids for the Vanderbilt mantelpiece (25.234) and in several funerary works. Here, Saint-Gaudens made subtle changes in the drapery and added upward-curving wings, a tablet, and a belt and crown of passionflowers. He considered several titles with universal themes, including To Know Is to Forgive, Peace on Earth, God Is Love, and Good Will towards Men, before settling on Amor Caritas [Love (and) Charity].