"She would've been a powerful sight as a weather vane: her body would follow the wind."—Emmanuel von Schack, educator and ASL user
Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, 1848–1907). Diana, 1893–94, cast 1894 or after. Bronze. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Gift of Lincoln Kirstein, 1985 (1985.353). Learn more about this object.
How does the sculpted body communicate? Hear from Met experts, leading authorities, and rising stars, each with a unique viewpoint on the language of gesture, facial expression, and pose.
Emmanuel von Schack: Diana is a beautiful and graceful yet powerful statue. She looks like this: she's balanced on the toes of one foot, the other raised behind her, leg extended back, with her arm pointed in the opposite direction. The energy flow in Diana follows a specific trajectory. It flows up her body then follows her eye gaze, which is focused on the target of her arrow. When I mirrored her body language, I felt powerful with a singular focus, strong and confident, a very positive emotion.
For me, it is ironic that as a weather vane she was constructed to rotate with the wind, but here, we museumgoers actually rotate around her, and I feel that gives us a different experience. Even though the perspective may be different as we make our circuit around her, the energy remains the same—very consistent.