22. Diana

Augustus Saint-Gaudens

Diana, 1979, bronze and gilding

Gift of Miranda and Robert Donnelley in honor of Nancy Mato, longtime Vice President and Curator of The Society of the Four Arts

Collection of The Society of the Four Arts, 2015.1


American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848–1907) is known for redirecting sculpture from a Neoclassical aesthetic to a more lively and naturalistic style. His first version of this sculpture was 18 feet tall, and was commissioned by architect Stanford White in 1891 as a weathervane for the tower of Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. A second, more graceful version, now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, inspired a series of half-sized casts, of which this is one. Diana’s face is said to be that of Davida Johnson Clark, the mother of Saint-Gaudens’ illegitimate son Louis. Exquisitely poised, all the lithe tension of her body would be lost if she leaned only slightly back.