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with frame: Winged Figure Seated Upon a Rock

Winged Figure Seated Upon a Rock

Type
Oil painting
Maker(s)
Artist: Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849-1921)
Historical period(s)
1914
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimension(s)
H x W: 213.5 x 153 cm (84 1/16 x 60 1/4 in)
Geography
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1915.67a-b
Label
Winged Figure Seated upon a Rock originated as one of the canvases related to the Stevenson Memorial of 1903, a tribute to one of Thayer's favorite authors, Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894). The copy was still in the artist's studio in 1914, when Thayer made it into a memorial to his late wife, using Gladys as the model and inscribing a Latin dedication that means "Mother of my daughter! To you this monument." Thayer added a second inscription in April 1916 stipulating that the painting never be retouched, "not one pin-point," a provision meant to make the monument inviolable.

When Freer offeref to buy this emotionally charged painting—"my heart's legacy to the world," as Thayer called it—he must have asked that any remaining copies of the Stevenson Memorial be turned over to him, for another of the trial compositions seems to have made its way into his possession. Although the figure was probably copied by Thayer's student Rockwell Kent (1882-1971), Thayer himself appears to have painted the head, "the dominating central fact" of any of his figure paintings, according to Gladys Thayer. The facial expression, she said, "must sing as it were from corner to corner of the canvas."

To 1915
Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849-1921), Dublin, NH, to 1915 [1]

From 1915 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Abbott Handerson Thayer in October 1915 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] See Voucher 8, October 1915, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Former owner
C.L. Freer source: Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849-1921)
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Keyword(s)
angel, United States, woman
Collection(s) Area
American Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum






The Freer is closed for renovation and reopening in 2017. The Sackler remains open, with a full lineup of exhibitions and events both in the museum and around DC.