About This Artwork

Lorado Taft
American, 1860–1936

The Solitude of the Soul, modeled in plaster 1901; sculpted in marble 1914

H. 231.1 cm (91 in.); base 129.5 x 105.4 cm (51 x 41 1/2 in.)
Signed: "Lorado Taft Sc 1914"

Friends of American Art Collection, 1914.739

The Neoclassicism of the sculptors Harriet Hosmer and Randolph Rogers was replaced in the second half of the 19th century by the more realistic naturalism of French-trained sculptors such as Lorado Taft. An instructor in modeling at the School of the Art Institute for 20 years, Taft created public monuments for Chicago that made the city a center for sculpture. The figures in this work are only partly freed from the marble, a technique that emphasizes the mass and outline of the stone. Explaining The Solitude of the Soul, Taft wrote, “The thought is the eternally present fact that however closely we may be thrown together by circumstances . . . we are unknown to each other.”

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Publication History

Judith A. Barter et al, American Arts at The Art Institute of Chicago: From Colonial Times to World War I (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1998), pp. 285-287, no. 143.

Interpretive Resources

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