Spirit of the Waters

Daniel Chester French American
Cast by Gorham Manufacturing Company American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 770

Many of French’s public monuments feature allegorical females representing such abstract concepts as life, death, and victory. In 1913 he was commissioned to create a memorial fountain to financier Spencer Trask (1844–1909) for Congress Park in Saratoga Springs, New York. In this small preliminary sketch, the partially draped winged figure serenely symbolizes the fluidity of water. For the final result, French raised the figure’s arms over her head, producing a more buoyant and joyful interpretation titled The Spirit of Life.

Spirit of the Waters, Daniel Chester French (American, Exeter, New Hampshire 1850–1931 Stockbridge, Massachusetts), Bronze, American

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