Augustus Saint-Gaudens moved with his family from Ireland to the United States when he was six months old. He had an intense creative energy that drove him to produce many drawings as a child and to attend night classes at Cooper Union while in his teens. He traveled to Europe when he was nineteen hoping to attend the École des Beaux-Arts, but was not accepted. He worked his way through Rome and Paris by cutting cameos and finding a few small commissions. He then returned to America, where a chance meeting with the young architect Stanford White turned into a key partnership that brought success to them both. White happened to be walking by Saint-Gaudens’s studio while the artist was singing the andante from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, one of the architect’s favorite works. Saint-Gaudens received many significant commissions through his association with White, including his first major public work, a monument of Civil War hero David Farragut that stands in Madison Square Park, New York.
Luce Artist Biography