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American Paintings and Sculpture
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
PrevNext2 of 2
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Artist: Hezekiah Augur, American, 1791–1858, M.A. (HON.) 1833

Jephthah and His Daughter

ca. 1828–32

Marble

44 × 18 1/2 × 15 1/2 in. (111.8 × 47 × 39.4 cm)
Gift of the Citizens of New Haven
1835.11a-b
Among the earliest American full-length figures in marble, these sculptures portray the Old Testament story of Jephthah. Before departing for battle, Jephthah had rashly promised in exchange for Israel’s victory over its enemies, the Ammonites, to sacrifice the first member of his household to greet him on his return. Hezekiah Augur shows the victorious warrior at the heart-stopping moment when he recognizes his only child moving innocently “to meet him with timbrels and with dances.” In horror, Jephthah tries to cover his eyes with his cloak, but to no avail: ultimately, he was forced to honor his vow to God, and she was sacrificed.
Geography: 
Made in New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
American
Period: 
19th century
Classification: 
Sculpture
Bibliography: 

Susan B. Matheson, Art for Yale: A History of the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2001), 23–24, fig. 21.

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.