AUGUSTUS SAINT-GAUDENS | THE PURITAN
1848 - 1907
inscribed AVGVSTVS-SAINT-GAVDENS and COPYRIGHT BY/AVGVSTVS SAINT GAVDENS/-M-D-C-C-C-X-C-I-X (on the base); also inscribed THE PVRITAN with provenance description and stamped GORHAM CO. FOUNDERS G*C QAWN (along the base)
bronze with greenish brown patina
height: 30 ¾ inches (78.1 cm)
Cast circa 1917.
We are grateful to Dr. Henry Duffy for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.
George C. Blabon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, circa 1917
Bessie Edith Blabon and Edward Chapin Dearden, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (gift from the above)
By descent to the present owner
Wayne Craven, Sculpture in America, Cranbury, New Jersey, 1968, pp. 384-85
Beatrice Gilman Proske, Brookgreen Gardens Sculpture, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, 1968, pp. 9-11, another example illustrated
Tom Armstrong, et al., 200 Years of American Sculpture, New York, 1976, pp. 51, 81, pl. 18, another example illustrated
John H. Dryfhout, The Work of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Hanover, New Hampshire, 1982, pp. 162-66, other examples illustrated
Marilyn Joan Evert, Discovering Pittsburgh’s Sculpture, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1983, pp. 293-94, another example illustrated
Kathryn Greenthal, Augustus Saint-Gaudens: Master Sculptor, New York, 1985, p. 174
Kathryn Greenthal, et al., American Figurative Sculpture in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, 1986, no. 74, pp. 238-42, another example illustrated
Thayer Tolles, ed., American Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. I, New York, 1999, no. 123, pp. 285-88, another example illustrated
John H. Dryhout, et al., Augustus Saint-Gaudens, 1848-1907: A Master of American Sculpture, Boston, Massachusetts, 1999, no. 18, p. 119, another example illustrated
Henry J. Duffy, John H. Dryfhout, Augustus Saint-Gaudens: American Sculptor of the Gilded Age, Washington, D.C., 2003, no. 39, p. 75, another example illustrated
Thayer Tolles, "Augustus Saint-Gaudens in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Spring 2009, no. 27, p. 69, another example illustrated
The present work is one of several reductions made after Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ 1886 monumental sculpture, The Puritan, which stands in Stearns Square in Springfield, Massachusetts. Chester W. Chapin commissioned Saint-Gaudens to create the work as a monument to his ancestor, Deacon Samuel Chapin, a founding member of the city. The current owner of the work is a descendant of Chapin.
The first reductions of The Puritan were made beginning in the 1890s during the artist’s lifetime, as Saint-Gaudens wanted to capitalize on the popularity of the original monument and create another, more consistent source of income for himself. He made several minor alterations to the facial expression and composition of the original work, and also added the inscription "THE PVRITAN" to the base, confirming the idea of this subject as universal idealization of the brave and dedicated early American settler.
Approximately 25 statuettes were first produced under Saint-Gaudens's own direction by his favored Parisian foundries such as Barbedienne. He returned to the United States in 1900, and began to work with American foundries such as Tiffany and Company and Gorham and Company to cast the statuettes. After his death in 1907, his widow, Augusta, continued to oversee their production.