Help us bring life to art, and art to lives. Make a donation.

close-button
Art/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Bust of John Locke

Date:
1765–75
Geography:
Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Culture:
American
Medium:
Mahogany
Dimensions:
10 1/2 x 6 1/4 x 3 1/4 in. (26.7 x 15.9 x 8.3 cm)
Classification:
Furniture
Credit Line:
Gift of Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., New York City, in honor of Bernard Levy, 1992
Accession Number:
1992.181.1
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
The placement of busts of learned men in libraries is a tradition that dates from antiquity and proliferated in eighteenth-century Philadelphia. The likeness of the English philosopher John Locke (1632–1704) was a preferred subject that often ornamented the pediment tops of desks and bookcases. This example has a distinct naturalism in the sculpting of the philosopher’s features that may have been inspired by well-known prints. Americans esteemed Locke for his philosophies that endorsed individual conscience, religious tolerance, and the defense of democracy. Locke’s theories were fundamental to the thinking of American Revolutionaries, especially the authors of the Declaration of Independence.
James Curran, Philadelphia, until 1940; with Ginsburg and Levy Inc. and Bernard and S. Dean Levy Inc., New York, 1940–1992
Related Objects

Armchair

Date: ca. 1755 Medium: Mahogany Accession: 25.115.18 On view in:Gallery 752

High chest of drawers

Date: 1762–65 Medium: Mahogany, mahogany veneer, tulip poplar, yellow pine, white cedar Accession: 18.110.4 On view in:Gallery 717

Armchair

Artist: Attributed to Adam Hains (1768–after 1820) Date: 1792–97 Medium: Mahogany with ash Accession: 1995.482 On view in:Gallery 730

Settee

Date: 1740–60 Medium: Walnut, yellow pine Accession: 25.115.1 On view in:Gallery 719

Center Table

Artist: Anthony G. Quervelle (1789–1856) Date: ca. 1830 Medium: Mahogany, intarsia marble, brass Accession: 68.96 On view in:Gallery 733