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Classification: Sculpture

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Image of Bacchante with Infant Faun

Frederick William MacMonnies
American, 1863–1937

Bacchante with Infant Faun

modeled,1894; cast, about 1895–1904

Object Type: Sculpture
Creation Place: North America, American
34 3/8 x 10 3/8 x 13 1/4 in. (87.31 x 26.35 x 33.66 cm)
Medium and Support: Bronze
Accession Number: 2015.0005

Credit Line: Gift of Laurie Weil in honor of Mark M. Johnson for his leadership of the MMFA

Currently On View

Frederick MacMonnies’ "Bacchante with Infant Faun" is one of the best-known bronzes made by an American sculptor in the 19th century. MacMonnies gave a large casting of this work, which had been exhibited to great acclaim in the Paris Salon of 1894, to his friend the architect Charles McKim, who offered it to the Boston Public Library for the garden of the new building on Copley Square designed by the firm of McKim, Mead, and White. The potential display of a naturalistic representation of a well-known, 19-year-old, nude model, Eugenie Pasque, in puritanical Boston’s bastion of learning generated considerable public opposition. After months of media coverage, McKim rescinded his offer and gave the bronze to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which promptly installed it in their galleries where it is proudly displayed to this day. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts eventually acquired a replica of the Metropolitan casting in 1910.

This 34 inch high cast bronze reduction is neither dated, nor numbered, as was common with reductions offered in unlimited editions at the turn of the twentieth century in France and the United States. The specific foundry mark on the base of the work suggests that that the MMFA bronze may have been cast between 1897 and 1904.

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