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About This Artwork
Diana, modeled 1889; cast after 1900
76.2 x 50.8 x 48.3 cm (30 x 20 x 19 in.)
Roger McCormick Fund, 1982.271
Not on Display
While studying in Paris, the young sculptor Frederick MacMonnies modeled a life-size plaster version of Diana for exhibition at the Paris Salon of 1889. The sculpture, a depiction of the Roman goddess of the hunt, won an honorable mention and assured his reputation as an important artist both in France and in the United States. Diana then proved so popular that he produced numerous reduced-sized replicas in bronze for American patrons. True to the Beaux-Arts ideals then current in France, MacMonnies included traditional symbols of the goddess such as the bow in her hand and the crescent moon in her hair, recalling classical precedent. However, his naturalistic rendering of the nude figure, modeled after the features of a young woman, has a lively grace that marks MacMonnies’s independence from strict neoclassical tradition.