During the 1890s Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, born Ireland, 1848-1907) created 3 reduced variant editions of the 13-foot Diana sculpture. The Metropolitan Museum’s statuette is one of the rare second types depicting the elegant figure posed on tiptoe on a sphere set on a two-tier base. Its matte patina, composed of gold, copper, and zinc, was applied by the electroplating process. The Museum’s Diana sculpture is a reproduction of the original work on view in the Museum’s American Wing. Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, born Ireland, 1848-1907) was a French-Irish immigrant who became the greatest American sculptor of his day. During the three decades of his remarkable career, Saint- Gaudens redirected and invigorated the course of American sculpture to a lively naturalistic style both in his public monuments and in his statuettes, portrait busts, and reliefs. Saint-Gaudens’s Diana, the artist’s only female nude, originated in the gilded bronze figure that he designed as a weathervane for the tower on Madison Square Garden designed by Stanford White (completed 1890). The original 18-foot version, erected in 1891, was deemed too large by White and Saint-Gaudens, and was removed in 1892. A year later, a second version, more graceful at 13 feet high, was installed. It dominated the New York skyline until 1925, when the building was torn down.
Made of bonded bronze (cold cast). "Cold-Cast" bronze (also referred to as "bonded bronze") is a product made from resin mixed/blended with 100% pure bronze powder to give it the appearance of the true bronze. It looks just as a "lost wax" bronze object does - both are bronzes. The cost for making a "lost wax" bronze statue is much greater than that of a "cold-cast" bronze statue. A sculpture made of "lost wax" bronze would be several times more expensive then made in cold cast bronze. Yet in either of the above materials, the casts (the final product made out of the mold) are made using the same rubber mold; which is taken from the original sculpture. Thus, the final result is exactly the same bronze sculpture, only made in a different bronze material. With the cold cast we still achieve the same bronze effect at much lower cost and thus is more affordable.
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