About This Artwork

Augustus Saint-Gaudens
American, born Ireland, 1848–1907

The Puritan, modeled 1883–86; cast after 1899

77.5 x 50.8 x 33 cm (30 1/2 x 20 x 13 in.)

Bequest of Brooks McCormick, 2007.390

This sculpture is a reduced version of a monument created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens for the town of Springfield, Massachusetts, in honor of Deacon Samuel Chapin, one of the town's early settlers. Striding purposefully forward, with a knotty walking stick in one hand and his Bible in the other, the figure embodies the perseverance, resilience, and stern morality that late-19th-century Americans admired in their colonial forebears. Appealing to the period’s Colonial Revival sensibility, the statue proved immensely popular, and Saint-Gaudens consequently created a smaller, generalized version to sell in multiples, which he entitled simply The Puritan.

Interpretive Resources

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