Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hat Tip to Daniel Chester French




French and crew assembling the Lincoln statue.

Making the awkward gangling figure of Abraham Lincoln into something as grand as the Olympian Zeus was no small accomplishment. So how is this different from colossi of the deified Stalin? Lincoln had been dead for 40 years when this was made (unlike Stalin). And French was arguably a much better and more nuanced sculptor than any of those frightened hacks cranked out by the Surikov and Repin Academies under the reign of Our Great Comrade.

Below is a favorite of mine, the Milmore Memorial, made by French to commemorate a colleague who died young. What a great Victorian Death figure! right down to the poppies, the slightly out-of-focus carving of her face, and the heavy drapery.

7 comments:

PseudoPiskie said...

I've toured French's Berkshire home Chesterwood several times. The process of creating the Lincoln sculpture is interesting. Thanks for blogging this.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Can you imagine if there was ever to be a George W sculpted monument? Something like a onepiece hear,speak,see no evil drunken lunatic with Cheney, Rove and Rumsfeld whispering to one another and etched into the background.

You could do the painting...easily...we´ll sell tickets in order to view it and send the money to the multitudes of poor throughout the land (the T Shirts business alone would be huge).

Davis said...

Oh, come on, Doug, we all know what appeals to you on the Milmore Memorial...

Counterlight said...

Yes, the young sculptor has a great ass, but that death figure really is wonderful, especially that dramatic moment where she suddenly interrupts the work.

Davis said...

I've always admired the abstract qualities in the great Lincoln.

JCF said...

The Sphinx on it is cool, too.

David G. said...

Sexual Exploits do not rule the artist. If That were true we wouldn't be chatting at all...LMAO!!

I wouldn't be drawing, or painting,..I would be immersed in certain pleasure!!