Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907)
Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907)

'Mildred and William Dean Howells'

Details
Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907)
'Mildred and William Dean Howells'
inscribed 'Mildred and William Dean Howells New.York M.D.C.C.C.XC.VIII' (upper left corner)--inscribed 'From Augustus.Saint Gaudens' (upper right corner)--inscribed 'This.replica.made.for.Elizabeth.Willard by.her.friend.Augustus.Saint-Gaudens' (along the bottom edge)
bronze with brown patina
8¾ x 13¼ in. (22.2 x 33.7 cm.)
Provenance
Elizabeth Willard, Washington, D.C.
By descent in the family to the present owner.
Literature
H.J. Duffy and J.H. Dryfhout, Trust for Museum Exhibitions, Augustus Saint-Gaudens: American Sculptor of the Gilded Age, Washington, D.C., 2003, p. 98, pl. 57, illustration of the plaster cast for the larger version of the work
J.H. Dryfhout, The Work of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Hanover, New Hampshire, 1982, pp. 232-233, no. 168-1, illustration of another example

Lot Essay

William Dean Howells (1837-1920) was an important literary figure in America, working as both a novelist and an editor in Boston and New York. Howells is depicted here with his daughter Mildred (1873-1966), a painter, watercolorist and poet who illustrated some of her father's books. Saint-Gaudens met the Howells in 1890 and later became friends. The original relief, measuring 23 x 26 in. (58.4 x 91.4 cm.), was modeled in New York in 1897 and later reduced in Paris.

Elizabeth Willard, to whom the bronze is dedicated, was a member of the prominent American family which founded the Willard Hotel in Washington D.C. Belle Willard, most likely Elizabeth's sister, was a close friend of the artist and his only son, Homer. It is perhaps this association which led the artist to gift the present work to Elizabeth Willard.

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