Paul Manship (1885-1966)
Property from the Estate of Richard J. Schwartz
Paul Manship (1885-1966)

Dancer and Gazelles

Paul Manship (1885-1966)
Dancer and Gazelles
inscribed 'Paul Manship/© 1916' and 'ROMAN BRONZE WORKS N-Y-' (on the base)
bronze with dark greenish-brown patina
32 ½ in. high (83.2 cm.)
Modeled in 1916.
Walter and Jean Brown Jennings, circa 1916.
Constance Jennings Ely, by descent.
Bonhams, New York, 2 December 2009, lot 85.
Acquired by the late owner from the above.
P. Manship, American Sculptors Series: Paul Manship, New York, 1947, p. 9, another example illustrated.
E. Murtha, Paul Manship, New York, 1957, pp. 14, 158, no. 85, pl. 17, another example illustrated.
W. Craven, Sculpture in America, Cranbury, New Jersey, 1984, pp. 566, 604, fig. 15.6, another example illustrated.
Paul Manship: Changing Taste in America, exhibition catalogue, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 1985, pp. 62-63, no. 40, another example illustrated.
J. Conner, J. Rosenkranz, Rediscoveries in American Sculpture: Studio Works, 1893-1939, Austin, Texas, 1989, pp. 135, 137, 193, another example illustrated.
J. Manship, Paul Manship, New York, 1989, pp. 63, 76-77, 101, 182, no. 65, another example illustrated.
S. Rather, “Paul Manship, Archaism, and the Dance,” The Magazine Antiques, New York, 1991, pp. 225-27, pl. IX, another example illustrated.
S. Rather, Archaism, Modernism, and the Art of Paul Manship, Austin, Texas, 1993, p. 117, fig. 60, another example illustrated.
J.A. Barter, et al., American Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago: From Colonial Times to World War I, New York, 1998, pp. 340-42, no. 185, another example illustrated.
T. Tolles, ed., American Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. II, New York, 1999, pp. 760-61, no. 382, another example illustrated.
J. Dini, Dance: American Art 1830-1960, exhibition catalogue, Detroit, Michigan, 2016, pp. 105, 108, no. 34, another example illustrated.

Lot Essay

In rendering the energetic and sinuous forms of his Dancer and Gazelles, Paul Manship looked to multiple sources for inspiration. The contrapposto of the central figure recalls the art of ancient Greece, and an allusion to Minoan and Mesopotamian sources is apparent in the composition of the work, in which the dancer stands flanked by two revering gazelles that appear fully at her command. Perhaps the most significant influence for Manship in the present work, however, is the sculptor’s reference to Indian art, in particular, medieval ragamala, a genre of painting that depicted musical melodies through vivid and lively imagery. Indian Rajput paintings have also been suggested as an important source for the sculptor, who would have been exposed to Ananda K. Coomaraswamy’s 1916 publication on sixteenth to nineteenth century Hindu art.

Dancer and Gazelles is considered one of Manship’s most popular and successful compositions. The original 67-inch life-size version was first exhibited at the artist’s one-person show held at the Berlin Photographic Company, New York, in 1916. A year later the work was awarded the Helen Foster Barnett Prize at the National Academy of Design. There are two known versions of the 67-inch model--one is in the Corcoran Collection/National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and the other in the Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio. There are twelve known reductions of Dancer and Gazelles in public and private hands, including the present lot. Other examples can be found in the collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan; the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; the Musée du Luxembourg, Paris, France; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

More from American Art

View All
View All