Anna Hyatt Huntington

The Sculptural Work of Anna Hyatt Huntington

A master of naturalistic animal sculputes, Anna Hyatt Huntington was born in 1876 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Adiella Hyatt, an amateur landscape artist, and Alpheus Hyatt, a professor of paleontology and zoology at Harvard University and MIT. During her childhood years, she developed a passion for drawing and an extensive knowledge of anatomy and animal behavior.

After studying several years to become a concert violinist, Huntington switched her studies to sculpture under portrait sculptor Henry Hudson Kitson at his Boston studio. Her first one-woman show, consisting of forty animal sculptures, was held in 1900 at the Boston Arts Club. During this year, Huntington produced her first commissioned work; two Great Danes cut from blue granite for wealthy Boston merchant Thomas Lawson.

After the death of her father and marriage of her sister, Huntington  left Boston, moving to New York City. She attended the city’s Art Students League, studying under marble sculptor George Grey Barnard and Hermon MacNeil, whose sculptures concentrated on American Indian subjects. Huntington studied briefly under Gutzon Borgium, the designer of Mount Rushmore, but left after criticizing his knowledge of animal anatomy. Choosing to be more independent, she started spending most of her time at the Bronx Park Zoo and circuses to model animals. The result of her observations there were her first major works: the 1902 equestrian work “Winter Moon” and the 1908 “Reaching Jaguar”.

Anna Huntington shared a studio with sculptor Abasteria St. Leger Eberle for several years, collaborating in partnership on works for two years. Two of their collaborative works were: “Men and Bull”, which won a bronze medal at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition and “”Boy and Goat Playing” which was exhibited at the gallery of the Society of American Artists in 1906. Between 1906 and 1910, Anna Huntington, confident of her skills, traveled several times between New York, Paris and Naples, working on commissions and exhibiting her works.

After an early model of a Joan of Arc equestrian statue gained honorable mention in the 1910 Paris Salon, Huntington received a commission by the City of New York to produce a life-sized bronze statue from the model. After extensive research on medieval armor at the Metropolitan Museum and a search for the perfect horse model, Huntington finished the large-scale “Joan of Arc” clad in a full suit of medieval armor. The unvieling occurred on December 6th of 1915, marking it as New York City’s first monument made by a woman, and the first monument to feature a real woman of history as its subject.

In 1923 Anna Huntington married her husband, railroad heir and philanthropist Archer Milton Huntington, who supported her work both financially and emotionally. Anna Huntington continued to work on her sculptures, winning new commissions including the equestrian work “El Cid Campeador”, the cast-aluminum “Fighting Stallions” at Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina, and “Diana” installed in 1948 at the National Academy of Design. 

In the late 1930s, Anna and Archer Huntington donated their Fifth Avenue townhouse to the National Academy of Design. A few years later, as Archer Huntington became quite ill, they donated their Haverstraw, New York, estate and zoo to the state of New York. In 1931, Anna and Archer Huntington established  Brookgreen Gardens, the first public sculpture garden in the United States. 

Following Archer Huntington’s death in 1955, Anna Huntington returned to full-time art work, despite being in her 80s. Between 1959 and 1966, she completed five more equestrian statues, including one of the late nineteenth century writer and activist  José Marti, one of a young Abraham Lincoln, and one of a young Andrew Jackson. On Huntington’s ninetieth birthday in 1966 she was still working, reportedly on a bust of the composer Charles Ives. Around the end of the 1960s, Huntington finally retired from creative work. She died on October 4, 1973, in Redding, Connecticut, following a series of strokes at the age of 97.

Note:  The Brookgreen Gardens contain many of Huntington’s works and many figures by other artists, the acquisitions being a boon to struggling artists of the Depression era. Now a National Historic Landmark, it is the most significant collection of figurative sculpture, in an outdoor setting, by American artists in the world. It also has the only zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and contains thousands of acres of Wildlife Preserve.

René Lalique

René Lalique, Serpents Pectoral, 1899, Gold and Enamel, Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal

The eccentricity and the fragility of René Lalique jewelry made it unwearable for most women of the Belle Époque, with the exception of some figures from the financial and artistic elite like the actress Sarah Bernhardt, the socialite and art patron Countess Greffulhe or the Folles Bergère vedette and dancer Liane Pougy. The British Armenian-born  financier and oil magnate, Calouste Gulbenkian, bought them however, to privately display in showcases in his mansion on Avenue d’Iéna in Paris.

These jewelry pieces dating from the early twentieth century perfectly illustrate the René Lalique’s uniqueness and sense of observation coupled with a highly fanciful imagination. Lalique is considered to be the inventor of modern jewelry, breaking away from the statuesque and soulless jewelry of the time. Bodice pieces, chokers and combs highlight the originality of materials, never or little used until then in jewelry, such as horn, ivory, translucent enamel, glass and ornamental stones. The delight in exploring the glassy depths of moonstone would later inspire Lalique’s research into glass. 

Before his turn to mass production of glass, Lalique’s unique serpents-motif objects were in the top tier of his jewelry creations. The Gulbenkian Serpents pectoral, made in 1899, is one of the great examples of René Lalique’s jewelry production, not only for the mastery of its execution, as for the theme chosen. Reptiles were a source of inspiration to which Lalique returned throughout his life not only for jewelry, but also for his glass, bronzes, and other creations.

Classified as a pectoral instead of a brooch due to its 21 cm. size, the serpents pectoral is made up of nine serpents entwined to form a knot from which the bodies of the other eight fall in a cascade, the ninth rising in the centre, at the top of the jewel. The reptiles, in the attack position, have their mouths open from which strings of pearls were hung as was apparently the case with a similar pectoral, whereabouts now unknown, which was highlighted at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1900 and reproduced in a publication of the period.

This nine-serpents pectoral was acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian directly from Rene Lalique in 1908. It now resides in Lisbon’s Museu Calouste Gulbenkian with over 100 works of René Lalique collected by Gulbenkian in his lifetime.

Pierre-Charles Simart


Pierre-Charles Simart, “Oreste réfugié à l’autel de Pallas (Oreste Taking Refuge at the Altar of Pallas)”, 1840, Marble, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, Normandy, France

The son of a carpenter from Troyes in Champagne, Pierre-Charles Simart was born on the 27th of June in 1806. At the age of seventeen, he received a 300 francs yearly scholarship from his hometown to attend sculpture classes in Paris. In 1833, Simart won the first Grand Prix de Rome for his bas-relief in plaster “Le Vieillard et les Enfants”, its inspiration taken from the Aesop tale “The Disunited Children of the Laborer”.

Pierre-Charles Simart studied at the French Academy in Rome from 1834 to 1839. He was the pupil of engraver and medalist Antoine Desboeufs and sculptor Charles Dupaty, a professor at the École des Beaux-Arts. Simart also received instruction from the neo-classical sculptors Jean-Pierre Cortot and James Pradier, both teaching at the Académie des Beaux-Arts.

Simart’s first notable work was the “Disc Thrower’, of which models in plaster are located at the Louvre and at the Museum of Troyes. His marble sculpture “Orestes Taking Refuge at the Altar of Pallas” was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1840. Between 1840 and 1843, Simart executed many works including two bas-reliefs for the Hotel de Ville at Paris, two large figures entitled “Justice” and “Abundance” for the columns of the Barrière du Tróne, the marble statue “Philosophy” in the Library of Luxembourg, and the bust of M. Jourdan now at the Museum of Troyes.

After his 1841 marriage, Pierre-Charles Simart sculpted his marble standing group “Virgin and Child” for the altar of the Virgin in the Cathedral of Troyes, and for several years, worked on the decoration of the tomb of Napolean I and the ceiling of the Carré at the Louvre. A pair of Caryatid sculptures, executed by Pierre Simart, were later installed on the upper level of the Pavilion Sully at the former Palais de Louvre during a major renovation and decoration project in 1857.

Simart was elected a member of the Académie des Beaux Arts in 1852 and an Officer of the Legion of Honour in 1856. In 1857, he composed the group sculpture “Art Demanding Inspiration from Poesy”, producing a model which was executed in marble after his death in Paris on May 27th of 1857.

Henry Moore

Henry Moore OM CH, “Two Piece Sculpture No. 7 Pipe”, 1966, Casting Date Unknown, Bronze, 432 x 839 x315 cm., Tate Museum, London

“The Two Piece Sculpture no. 7 Pipe” is one of a series of two-piece sculptures made during the 1960s that relate to Moore’s interest in bone forms. The projecting beam that bridges the two parts has been interpreted by critics as a phallic appendage, which has led the sculpture to be seen as a highly abstract representation of sexual coupling.

This sculpture was developed from a small maquette made in plaster in 1966. By this time Moore had established a practice of testing out his designs for sculptures by making small three-dimensional models as opposed to drawing his ideas on a page. It is probable that Moore made the small model for this sculpture in his maquette studio in the grounds of his home, Hoglands, at Perry Green in Hertfordshire. This studio housed his ever growing collection of found objects, the shapes of which often served as starting points for Moore’s formal experiments in three dimensions.

In “Two Piece Sculpture No. 7 Pipe”, Moore combined his interest in the human figure with his concurrent explorations of interlocking forms. After separated the body into two distinct parts in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Moore then began thinking about ways in which separate sculptural parts could intersect or interlock to create a single unit while maintaining their individuality. These ideas came to fruition in works such as “Locking Piece”, 1963-64, in which two differently shaped elements intersect. According to Bowness, it was the relationship between the two parts of “Two Piece Sculpture No. 7 Pipe” that was of interest to Moore, and the subsequent omission of the often-used term ‘Reclining Figure’ from its title reflected these concerns.

Emperor Caracalla

Bust of Emperor Caracalla

Artist Unknown, Bust of Emperor Caracalla, White Marble Head, Alabaster Torso

Formerly known as Antoninus, Caracalla was a member of the Severan dynasty, the elder son of Julia Domna and Septinius Severus. He ruled as the Roman Emperor from 198 to 217 AD, first as a co-ruler with his father Septnius from 198, then as a co-ruler with his brother Geta from 209 AD. After his father’s death in 211, Caracalla killed his brother and assumed the position of Emperor for himself.

Although Caracalla’s reign was troubled with domestic instability and invasions by the Germanic tribes, it was notable for the Antonine Constitution which granted Roman citizenship to all free men throughout the Roman Empire. Caracalla is known for the construction of the second-largest baths in Rome, the Baths of Caracalla, and for the the new Roman currency named the antoninianus.

Ancient sources portray Caracalla as a tyrant and a cruel leader, enacting massacres in his empire and against his own Roman people. He was assassinated by a disaffected soldier in 217 AD. Macrinus, a praetorian prefect of Rome and a conspirator in the assassination against Caracalla, became Emperor on April 11, 217, three days after Caracalla’s death.

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Fabio Viale

Sculptures by Fabio Viale

Fabio Viale, born in Cuneo in northern Italy in 1975, is a sculptor who lives and works in Turin, Italy. He graduated in 2008 from the University of Turin in the field of contemporary sculpture. Viale’s artwork contrasts the artistic appearance of traditional white marble art pieces with contemporary illustrative tattoo work, inspired by the Japanese Yakuza, over the marble forms.

Fabio Viale has been exhibiting world-wide since 2009, showing in New York, Basel, Miami and London among other cities. In 2007 he won the Francesco Messina Young International Sculpture Award for his work in traditional materials. His works also won first prize in 2012 at the Henraux Foundation Awards in Querceta, Italy, and recognition at the Premio Cairo in Milan, Italy.

First three images reblogged with thanks to Jean Louis’s great art site:

Remaining images reblogged with thanks to:


Dragon Fish


Dragon Fish

Japan. Edo period

5’3’’ x 34’’ x 17’’ – 160cm x 86cm x 43cm

A splendid model of a Shachihoko, an enormous roof decoration well cast in

bronze, with a dragon head with bushy eyebrows and whiskers, flared

nostrils, a spiny dorsal fin and 4 large pectoral fins. His body with the

scales of a carp and a large flared tail fin. Originally gilded overall, this

impressive beast would have adorned the gable end of a splendid castle, temple

or Samurai home. Now, with remnants of gilding to the scales and a

good green weathered patina.

Note: Shachihoko were thought to provide protection against fire, as they were

attributed with the power to control rain. Brandt Asian Art

Lucy Glendinning

Lucy Glendinning, “Feather Child 4″, Date Unknown, Feathers on Form

Lucy Glendinning is a sculptor and installation artist, who works in a contemporary British sculpture tradition. Her different aesthetic expressions are brought together under one central entry point: the human body as a semiotic medium. For Glendinning, art is the primary tool for investigating psychological and philosophical themes. Her work is thus permeated by a conceptual content, superior to the value of aesthetics.

Glendinning seduces the observing eye by emphasing subtle expressions and presenting stunning craftsmanship. Her way of cleverly combining paradoxical qualities are revealed in the twisted combinations of tenderness and brutality, empathety and ignorance, stillness and movement.

The suite “Feather Child” series originates from Glendinning’s fascination with visions of a future society. The feathered children are embodied questions, where the artist is asking us if we, in a world where our genetics could be freely manipulated, will be able to resist altering our physical abilities. Will necessity or vanity be the ruling power? The fragility of the feathers is simultaneously mirroring the perhaps most classic tale of human hubris: the fate of Icarus in Greek mythology.

Antonio Canova

Antonio Canova, “Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss”, Detail, 1787, Marble, Louvre Museum, Paris

“Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss” is a marble sculpture by Italian artist Antonio Canova, who was raised by his stonemason grandfather, Pasino Canova. Antonio Canova valued his independence as an artist, believing that art was above politics. However, through pressure by the French on the papacy, he was forced to accept titles and honors.

The marble sculpture is in a Neoclassical style but shows characteristics of the then emerging Romantic movement. There were two versions of this piece; the image shown being the prime version, which was acquired by Joachim Murat, Marshal of France and Admiral of France under the reign of Napoleon. After Murat’s death, the sculpture entered the Louvre Museum in 1824.

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Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei, “He Xie (River Crab)”, 2010, Porcelain

The installation “He Xie” consists of 3,200 porcelain crab sculptures. They were created after Chinese authorities ransacked and destroyed Weiwei’s studio in 2010. Following that event, a feast of real river crabs was hosted by Weiwei, who was unable to attend, due to his house arrest. The term “He Xie” is a homophone for “harmonious” in Chinese and has also become a term for internet censorship.


A Year: Day to Day Men: 5th of November,  Solar Year 2018

The End of the Yellow Brick Road

November 5, 1876 was the birthdate of sculptor Raymond Duchamp-Villon.

Raymond Duchamp-Villon was born on November 5, 1876, in Damville, near Rouen, France. From 1894 to 1898 he studied medicine at the University of Paris. When illness forced him to abandon his studies, Duchamp-Villon decided to make a career in sculpture. During the early years of the century he moved to Paris, where he exhibited for the first time at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1902.

Duchamp-Villon’s second show was held at the same Salon in 1903, the year he settled in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a suburb west of Paris. In 1905 he had his first exhibition at the Salon d’Automne and a show at the Galerie Legrip in Rouen with his brother, the painter Jacques Villon; Duchamp-Villon moved with him to Puteaux two years later.

Duchamp Villon’s participation in the jury of the sculpture section of the Salon d’Automne began in 1907 and was instrumental in promoting the Cubists in the early 1910s. Around this time he  and Jacques Villon, along with their other brother, Marcel Duchamp, attended weekly meetings of the Puteaux group of artists and critics. The Puteaux Group, also known as the Golden Section, was a collective of painters, sculptors, poets and critics associated with Cubism and Orphism, an offshoot of Cubism that focused on pure color and abstraction.

In 1911 Raymond Duchamp-Villon exhibited at the Galerie de l’Art Contemporain in Paris; the following year his work was included in a show organized by the Duchamp brothers at the Salon de la Section d’Or at the Galerie de la Boétie. Duchamp-Villon’s work, along with the work of his two brothers, was exhibited at the Armory Show in New York in 1913 and the Galerie André Groult in Paris, the Galerie S. V. U. Mánes in Prague, and Der Sturm gallery in Berlin in 1914.

During World War One, Duchamp-Villon served in the army in a medical capacity, but was able to continue work on his major sculpture “The Horse”, a composite image of an animal and machine which he finished in 1914. Duchamp-Villon overturned conventional representation of form to suggest instead its inner forces, which he associated with the energy of the machine.

Raymond Duchamp-Villon contracted typhoid fever in late 1916 while stationed at Champagne; the disease ultimately resulted in his death on October 9, 1918, in the military hospital at Cannes.

Dragon Aquamanile

Dragon Aquamanile, 1200 AD, Copper Alloy, Northern Germany, 22 x18 cm., The Cloisters Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

An aquamanile is a vessel made specifically to hold water for hand-washing. Most of the Middle-Ages aquamaniles are fashioned from copper or bronze, an alloy of copper and tin with other metals. The artists used a lost was process, a time consuming and complicated process, to fashion these hollow figures. This process has been in use since the 4th century B.C.


A Year: Day to Day Men: 30th of October, Solar Year 2018

Working on the Railroad

October 30, 1861 was the birthdate of French sculptor and painter Antoine Bourdelle.

Emile-Antoine Bourdelle was born in Montauban, France, the birthplace of Ingres, on October 30, 1861. His early interest in sculpture was inspired by his carpenter-cabinetmaker father. In fact, many of Bourdelle’s earliest sculptural projects were in wood. A bust of the painter Ingres, completed when Bourdelle was just 15, won him a scholarship to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in the nearby city of Toulouse. While in Toulouse he studied under the sculptor Maurette and executed numerous portrait busts before leaving for Paris in 1884.

The first years in Paris brought Bourdelle some success. He won an honorable mention at the exhibition of the Salon des Artistes Francais of 1885 and a medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1889. Bourdelle enrolled in the studio of the established master Alexandre Falguière for a brief period before working first with Jules Dalou and, later, as a pupil and assistant to Auguste Rodin between the years 1893 and 1908.

Bourdelle’s study of the great ages of monumental sculpture led to his lifelong concern for the public function of sculpture and its relationship to an outdoor setting. In 1893 he began his studies for the “Monument to the Defenders of Montauban”, which commemorated the noble resistance of the people of Montauban in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. Considered his first masterpiece, the monument took eight years to finish.

Elevated on a high pedestal in a public square, the figures possess a  severity and tautness combined with a powerful expressiveness that conveys the heroic struggle of a united people. Bourdelle’s first masterpiece was part of a general trend in the late 19th century that favored public monuments memorializing those who lost their lives for France and the newly established Third Republic.

The traditional bonds that linked sculpture with architecture also interested Bourdelle. In 1913 Bourdelle received another major commission to decorate the Champs Elysées theater with sculptural frieze panels depicting various aspects of the dramatic arts—Tragedy, Comedy, Dance, Music, and the Muses.

All the figures were couched in the style of Archaic Greek sculpture, but the static element of Greek sculpture was enlivened by Bourdelle’s fascination with the representation of movement and energy through the expressive use of line and straining bodies. In his panels entitled “The Muses”, Bourdelle’s striding figures seem to foreshadow some of the figures seen in the paintings from Picasso’s classical phase of the 1920s.

Walter Mason

Natural Photography by Walter Mason

German artist Walter Mason offers an interesting perspective on the natural world surrounding him. He examines relationships between natural elements, re-arranging and pulling them apart to put them back in new positions. The results are profound time-based-art sculptures that highlight the fragility and beauty of the environment. His careful geometric positioning of objects in space create surreal scenes that highlight the simultaneous complexity & simplicity that can often be found in nature.

Irina Nakhova

Irina Nakhova, “Pilot”, 2015, Installation at the 2015 Venice Biennale

“Pilot” is one part of a three-part installation “The Green Pavilion” presented by Russian artist Irina Nakhova at the Venice Biennale in 2015. It is a giant head of a helmeted pilot whose features subtly changed activated by sensors in the room to the movements of the viewers.

“When you walk into the first room, all the sizes are different, and who greets you there is the pilot. The pilot is your navigator through time. So when you are here, there is dark. The skies are closed, but you are in the cockpit of the flight. When you come closer to the pilot, his eyes open, he looks at you and he also looks at the sky, and you can see that the sky are opening [via a skylight]. Then you really see what’s going on, but it’s also like in a dream because there is no verbal communication.” -Irina Nakhova

An installation artist and academically trained painter, Nakhova combines painting, sculpture, and new media into interactive installations and environments that engage viewers as co-creators of conceptual mindscapes. A part of a new generation of Russian non-comformist artists now known as the Moscow Conceptual School, Nakhova received international recognition as a young artist for her first ‘total installation’ entitled “Rooms (1983-1987)”. She was chosen as the first female artist to represent Russia at its pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Thutmose III

Statue of Thutmose III (Birthname: Menkheperre), Karnak Cachette, Luxor Museum, Egypt

This statue of Thutmose III, carved from greywacke, a dark coarse-grained sandstone, was found in the Karnak cachette in 1904. His reign was from 1479 to 1425 BC in which he extended the reach of the Egyptian empire during his foreign military campaigns.

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