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Summer Fine Art & Antiques Auction - Day 1

Sat, Jul 8, 2023 09:00AM EDT
Lot 131

Frederick MacMonnies Bronze Sculpture, Young Faun w/ Heron

Estimate: $4,400 - $4,800
Sold for

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Frederick William MacMonnies (New York/France, 1863-1937) bronze sculpture titled "Young Faun with Heron" depicting a classically portrayed nude male youth crowned by an ivy wreath. He gazes jovially at the wrangled heron at his back as he grasps it by its neck and talon while standing on one wing. Signed and dated to oval plinth base "Frederick MacMonnies/copyright 1894, Paris. 1890." (See similar example sold at Christie's on Jan. 19, 2022). 27" H x 16 3/8" W x 10 3/4" D. Note: Initially commissioned as a large garden sculpture by architect Stanford White for Joseph Hodges Choate's mansion gardens at Naumkeage in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, MacMonnies also marketed small-scale versions of this piece for interior spaces. They were cast in at least two foundries, Gruet Foundeur, Paris and Jaboeuf & Rouard, Paris, but in an unknown amount. Iterations of "Young Faun with Heron" have been exhibited in The Cleveland Museum of Art in 1986 and are a part of the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (Adapted from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art). Artist Biography: Frederick William MacMonnies was employed in a jewelry shop until working in the studio of Auguste Saint-Gaudens and studied at the National Academy of Design and Art Students League. He then traveled to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and was awarded the Prix d'Atelier. MacMonnies' exhibition and subsequent praise for "Diana" at the Salon of 1889 garnered him acclaim and commissions in Europe and America. The sculptor remained true to his American Renaissance/Classical style approach until his death from pneumonia. Sources: Matthew Baigell, Dictionary of American Art; Wendy Katz, "Frederick MacMonnies" in "Sculpture from the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery," Edited by Karen O. Janovy.


Minor areas of verdigris and oxidation to base and figure's left hand. Minor scattered areas of discoloration that may have originated from an attempt to further patinate the surface with paint and this paint/coating was later partially removed. Seams visible to the thigh and wings, in the making.

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