Skip to Content

The museum is temporarily closed. Learn more.

The Filatrice (The Spinner)

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of bronze.

Date:

1850

Artist:

Henry Kirke Brown
American, 1814–1886
Cast by the artist’s foundry, Brooklyn, New York

About this artwork

The woman in Henry Kirke Brown’s sculpture holds a distaff in the crook of her right arm, twisting wool or flax into thread and onto a spindle. This classical portrayal of a domestic task evokes the mythic Three Fates, one of whom spins the thread of life. Brown modeled The Filatrice (Italian for “spinner”) in New York and cast it at the foundry he established there in 1848 after his return from Italy. The Filatrice was commissioned by the American Art-Union, an organization that aimed to bring the fine arts to middle-class audiences. Twenty casts were made of the sculpture and distributed to select members by way of lottery.

On View

Arts of the Americas, Gallery 174

Artist

Henry Kirke Brown (Sculptor)

Title

The Filatrice (The Spinner)

Origin

Brooklyn

Date

1850

Medium

Bronze

Inscriptions

Unsigned

Dimensions

50.8 × 30.5 × 17.8 cm (20 × 12 × 7 in.)

Credit Line

Roger McCormick Endowment

Reference Number

1989.59

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share