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Maker(s):French, Daniel Chester
Culture:American (1850 - 1931)
Title:The May Queen
Date Made:1875
Materials:white marble
Place Made:Italy; Florence
Measurements:overall: 16 x 14 x 7 1/2 in.; 40.64 x 35.56 x 19.05 cm
Narrative Inscription:  signed, dated and inscribed on base: : D.C. FRENCH. / SCULP. / Florence 1875
Accession Number:  SC 1915.8.1
Credit Line:Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Joel E. Goldthwait (Jessie Rand, class of 1890)
Museum Collection:  Smith College Museum of Art

bust of young girl with long hair tied back and ruffled dress on circular marble base

Label Text:
"The May Queen" is an example of the taste for American decorative parlor sculpture that persisted into the third quarter of the nineteenth century. Carved in pure white Cararra marble, "The May Queen" has a delicacy and innocence appropriate to the medieval May Day ritual.

French crated this sculpture during a trip to Florence, Italy, as a gift for his patron Joel Goldthwait, who had helped fund the trip. In keeping with the practice of other sculptors, he made a clay model then hired Italian artisans to carve the bust in marble. "The May Queen" is an example of the artist's early neo-classical style, based on ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. The little girl wears sprays of hawthorn, associated with May Day, in her hair and across the bodice of her dress, which is based on the Classical Greek "chiton" or tunic.

children; girls

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