gently sloping base decorated with low relief panels of dancing Satyrs and Maenads, pair of fantastic beasts at either end, main group on top of centaur grasping fleeing nymph in partial drape with proper right hand over head; mythology
With Centaur and Dryad, Manship melds the Archaic Greek love of etched patterns, smooth surfaces, and sinuous lines with the modern interest in abstraction, resulting in an intense presentation of passion and desire. As the centaur rears back on his hind legs, the centaur’s right arm encircles the dryad. Her garment flares out behind, secured only by a single band below her breast, revealing her body for display. She turns her head away from the centaur’s hot breath as he pulls her shoulder toward him in the opposite direction.
Though a sculpture of such emotional intensity might have seemed an unusual acquisition for a women’s college in 1915, President L. Clark Seelye rationalized its presence on campus. He described Manship’s theme as “the struggle of the beastly with the womanly,” and concluded, “Smith is a most appropriate place for it.”
mythology; violence; women
Link to share this object record: