About this artwork
As one of the nation’s most important sculptors of the Gilded Age, Frederick William MacMonnies garnered many public and private commissions at the turn of the 20th century. Bacchante with Infant Faun, however, was not created on commission. Instead, MacMonnies gave the life-size version of the bronze to his friend the architect Charles McKim. The sculpture was soon at the center of a public scandal when McKim attempted to give it to the new Boston Public Library. Some among Boston’s elite chafed at the mythical figure’s nudity and her drunken dance. MacMonnies’s naturalistic modeling—bones, muscles, and even teeth convincingly rendered—challenged Victorian sensibilities. McKim eventually gave the statue to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bronze reductions, such as this one, nevertheless remained popular with the public.
- Frederick William MacMonnies
- Bacchante with Infant Faun
- United States
- Signed on base: "F. MacMonnies, 1894" Foundry (stamped): "Jaboeuf & Rouard / FONDEURS/A/PARIS/10 & 12/R DE L'ASILE POPINCOURT"
- H.: 86.3 cm (34 in.)
- Restricted gift of Brooks and Hope B. McCormick Foundation