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

The Puritan (Samuel Chapin)

Details
Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907) The Puritan (Samuel Chapin) inscribed 'AVGVTVS·SAINT GAVDENS' and stamped ‘·COPYRIGHT BY·/AVGVSTVS SAINT GAVDENS/·M·D·CCCXCIX (on the base)—inscribed 'SAMUEL CHAPIN/1505-1675 ·' (along the base) bronze with dark green patina 31 in. (78.7 cm.) high Modeled in 1899.
Provenance
The artist.
Alfred C. Chapin, Massachusetts, (probably) commissioned from the above.
By descent to the present owner, 1973.
Literature
W. Craven, Sculpture in America, Cranbury, New Jersey, 1968, pp. 384-85, another example referenced.
B.G. Proske, Brookgreen Gardens Sculpture, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, 1968, pp. 9-11, another example illustrated.
T. Armstrong, et al., 200 Years of American Sculpture, New York, 1976, pp. 51, 81, pl. 18, another example illustrated.
J.H. Dryfhout, The Work of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Hanover, New Hampshire, 1982, pp. 162-66, other examples illustrated.
M. Evert, Discovering Pittsburgh’s Sculpture, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1983, pp. 293-94, another example illustrated.
K. Greenthal, Augustus Saint-Gaudens: Master Sculptor, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1985, p. 174, another example referenced.
K. Greenthal, et al., American Figurative Sculpture in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, 1986, pp. 238-42, no. 74, another example illustrated.
M.A. Goley, B. Wilkinson, Augustus Saint-Gaudens: American Sculptor, From the Collection of the Saint-Gaudens Historic Site, exhibition catalogue, Washington, D.C., 1992, pp. IV, VIII, no. 24, another example referenced.
T. Tolles, ed., American Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. I, New York, 1999, pp. 285-88, no. 123, another example illustrated.
H.J. Duffy, J.H. Dryfhout, Augustus Saint-Gaudens: American Sculptor of the Gilded Age, exhibition catalogue, Washington, D.C., 2003, p. 75, no. 39, another example illustrated.

Brought to you by

William Haydock
William Haydock Head of Department, American Art

Lot Essay

The present bronze is a reduction made after Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ 1886 monumental statue, The Puritan. The original work was commissioned for Stearns Square in Springfield, Massachusetts, by Chester W. Chapin to pay homage to his ancestor, Deacon Samuel Chapin, a founding member of the city. As there was no record on which to base Deacon Chapin’s appearance, his descendants worked closely with Saint-Gaudens to ensure accuracy in the figure’s dress, utilizing seventeenth-century woodblock prints for research. The stalwart figure, who confidently strides forward with walking stick in hand and a book held firmly under his left arm, was unveiled on Thanksgiving Day 1887. Representing more than just the singular man on which it was based, The Puritan stands for qualities of resilience, courage and moral fortitude—the all-important makings of an early American settler.

While most editions are inscribed with the title, "THE PVRITAN," the inscription on the present edition identifies the subject, Samuel Chapin. This differentiating element supports that this was probably a private commission for the Chapin family, ancestors of the present owner.

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