Diana

Frederick William MacMonnies, American, 1863 - 1937

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1890 (cast 1894)

Bronze

Overall: 18 9/16 × 11 13/16 × 11 1/4 in. (47.2 × 30 × 28.5 cm)

Base: 7 3/8 in. (18.7 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College: Gift of Jane and W. David Dance, Class of 1940

S.992.41

Geography/Culture

North America, United States

Period

19th century

Object Name

Sculpture

Classification

Sculpture

Not on view

Inscription

Signed and dated, on base, behind figure: F. MacMonnies / 1890 Copyright / 1894; circular foundry mark: JACOEUF & ROUARD / FONDEURS / PARIS / 10 & 12 / R. DE / l'AISLE POPINCOURT

Label

At the time Frederick MacMonnies modeled this work, one of his earliest, he had already apprenticed with Augustus Saint-Gaudens and was an assistant in the Paris studio of Jean-Alexandre-Joseph Falguiѐre. Falguière had a profound and lasting influence on the younger artist, and Falguière's Diana (1882) was an important prototype for this work.

MacMonnies's life-size plaster Diana won him an honorable mention at the 1889 Paris Salon, and its critical acclaim helped to launch his career. In it he captured the goddess's fluid prance as she touches down on one foot and extends her lithe arms, having just released an arrow. The sculpture's blend of decorative refinement and naturalism ensured its continued popularity through the production of this reduced bronze format and another version that was just over thirty inches tall.

Long a favored artistic motif, the mythological huntress and goddess of the moon resurfaced as a popular subject among late nineteenth-century European and American sculptors. The theme provided an opportunity to sculpt an idealized female nude in motion—a nude further legitimized through her ties to classical mythology and revered Renaissance prototypes. Other Beaux-Arts artists who modeled her included Antonin Mercié, Paul Jean-Baptiste Gasq, and Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The latter's famous eighteen-foot Diana (1892-93) originally graced the top of Madison Square Garden in New York.

MacMonnies went on to create a number of lighthearted life-size fountain figures for country residences, as well several bronze statuettes and large-scale sculptures and public monuments, including his enduring Bacchante and Infant Faun (1893, Metropolitan Museum of Art), which initially drew criticism for its indecorous nudity and perceived endorsement of drunkenness.

Course History

CLST 4, Classical Mythology, Pramit Chaudhuri, Summer 2014

Exhibition History

The Beauty of the Bronze: Selections from the Hood Museum of Art, Gene Y. Kim Class of 1985 Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, October 13, 2012-March 18, 2014.

Representing Myth: The Classical Tradition in Western Art, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 11-August 17, 1995.

Israel Sack Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, September 16, 1997-April 18, 2001.

Israel Sack Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, March 26, 1996-June 22, 1997.

Israel Sack Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, July 21, 1992-May 23, 1995.

Emulating Antiquity: Nineteenth-century European Sculpture, Engles Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 26, 2019-February 16, 2020.

Diana in Late Nineteenth Century Sculpture, Wellesley College Museum, Wellesley, Massachusetts, November 3- December 31, 1989.

Cultural Exchange, the Body, and Art and Technology, Art History 2, Harrington Gallery Teaching Exhibition, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 25-March 9, 2003.

Critical Faculties: Teaching with the Hood's Collections, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 15-March 13, 2005.

Constructing Gender: Works from the Hood Museum of Art's Collection, 1500 to the Present, Harrington Gallery Teaching Exhibition, ARTH 2, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 28-April 22, 2012.

American Viewpoints: Painting and Sculpture from the Hood Museum of Art, Timken Museum of Art, San Diego, California, May 5-August 31, 2003.

American Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, Israel Sack Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 9-December 9, 2007.

Publication History

Barbara J. MacAdam, American Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Muesum of Art, Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2007, p. 120, no. 93.

Provenance

Sotheby's New York, Important American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, Sale Sale No. 5463, Lot 224; Conner-Rosenkranz, New York,1988, Paul Magriel (1906-1990); Robert Dance, Inc., New York; Jane (1922-2007) and W. David Dance (1917-2012); given to present collection, 1992.

Old Number

EL.S.991.44

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete.

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