Lot 75
  • 75

Paul Manship 1885 - 1966

400,000 - 600,000 USD
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  • Paul Manship
  • Diana
  • inscribed Paul Manship 1921 © with the Roman Bronze Works N-Y- foundry mark
  • bronze
  • height: 38 inches
  • (96.5 cm)


Jay C. Leff, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (sold: Parke-Bernet Galleries, September 24, 1970, lot 51)
Acquired by the present owner at the above sale


Edwin Murtha, Paul Manship, New York, 1957, no. 138, pp. 14, 18, 161-62
John Manship, Paul Manship, New York, 1989, pp. 101, 111, 113, 133, illustrated pl. 92, p. 100
Harry Rand, Paul Manship, Washington, D.C., 1989, pp. 73-83

Catalogue Note

According to Harry Rand, “Manship contemplated the story of Diana and Actaeon as early as 1915, while living in Cornish, New Hampshire; he began to sketch this theme, which engaged him for a decade thereafter” (Paul Manship, Washington, D.C., 1989, p. 73).

Manship completed the present version of Diana in 1921.  In 1925 he developed the form into a monumental figure and created the figure of Actaeon as a companion piece. Dr. Rand continues, “These monumental pieces were the center of attention at a 1925 exhibition of Manship’s work in New York and Diana and Actaeon announced Manship’s stylistic maturity.

“Diana (identified with the Greek goddess Artemis) is the ancient Italian woodland goddess of hunting and archery, and the defense of all wild animals, children, and weak things. In classical Greek literature she was characterized by a deliberately chosen and forcibly maintained virginity; she punished those who would violate this state.

“...The role of Diana’s hunting dogs was refined as the theme developed. At last—as a singular muscular animal leaping horizontally—the dog contributed powerfully to the ensemble. Almost incidentally attached to the central supportive frond, the dog floats free of the base, all four legs off the ground and head turned back to look up at his mistress. The dog’s head is a strong compositional element; it points to the hand and the bow, while the dog’s eyes and expression are focused on the goddess’s face, as if to sense her mood and do her further bidding. A line connecting the furry, patterned areas of the dog’s ruff and tail establish the base of a decorative triangle (capped by Diana’s rhythmically wavy hair), which circumscribed the areas of finest detail.

“...Diana embodied the best of Manship’s art, the highest aspirations of archaism and contemporary academicism, the promise for a legitimate and potent alternative to modernism, and an unsurpassable performance in bronzework” (Ibid., pp. 73-74, 76).