Bacchante and Infant Faun

Artist: Frederick William MacMonnies (American, New York 1863–1937 New York)

Date: 1893–94, cast 1894

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: 84 x 29 3/4 x 31 1/2 in. (213.4 x 75.6 x 80 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Gift of Charles F. McKim, 1897

Accession Number: 97.19


“Bacchante and Infant Faun” epitomizes the dramatic French Beaux-Arts style that dominated American sculpture during the late nineteenth century. An exuberant pagan reveler with grapes in her raised right hand holds an eager infant in the crook of her left arm. Her twinkling eyes, joyous mouth, spiraling form, lively silhouette, and richly textured surface combine to produce one of the most vibrant images in American art. MacMonnies gave this cast to the architect Charles Follen McKim (1847–1909) as thanks for a fifty-dollar loan. When McKim’s plan to install it in the courtyard of his new Boston Public Library set off an angry storm about its dubious moral tone, he instead presented it to the Metropolitan.