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.
- Henry Kirke Brown (Sculptor)
- The Filatrice (The Spinner)
- 50.8 × 30.5 × 17.8 cm (20 × 12 × 7 in.)
- Roger McCormick Endowment