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American Paintings and Sculpture
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Artist: Augustus Saint-Gaudens, American, born Ireland, 1848–1907, LL.D. (HON.) 1905

Diana

1895

Bronze on an original marble base

21 × 19 × 5 in. (53.3 × 48.3 × 12.7 cm)
Purchased with the Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., Class of 1913, Katharine Ordway, and Friends of American Arts Acquisition Funds
2008.88.1

Augustus Saint-Gaudens considered his sculpture Diana “a labor of love.” At the request of his friend the architect Stanford White, Saint-Gaudens designed this slender, lithe figure of the Roman goddess of the hunt as an eighteen-foot-high bronze weathervane for the tower of White’s Madison Square Garden, in New York. He fashioned the head after an earlier marble bust of his model and mistress, Davida Clark, showing her hair drawn back loosely in a Grecian knot. The first lighted sculpture of its time, the weathervane proved too large and heavy for the tower and was replaced with a smaller version, which remained in place until 1925. The only nude figure that Saint-Gaudens ever sculpted, Diana was also the first bronze from which he made reproductions, such as this one.

Geography: 
Probably made in Cornish, New Hampshire, United States
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
American
Period: 
19th century
Classification: 
Sculpture
Provenance: 

Private collection, Connecticut, c. 1970 until 2008; Conner-Rosenkranz, New York

Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions 2009,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2009): 141, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.