Bacchante and Infant Faun

A nineteen-year-old mother and baby modeled for Frederick MacMonnies’ most popular work, Bacchante and Infant Faun. Bacchantes were mythological figures who served the infant god of wine, Bacchus. The French government bought a cast of the statue at the 1894 Paris Salon, securing MacMonnies’ reputation as a formidable sculptor. The original version was later put on display at the Boston Public Library, where it caused one of the greatest art scandals of the decade. Citizens were upset, not only because the statue represented debauchery and drunkenness, but also because the sculptor had shamelessly modeled a naked” person rather than a classical nude figure.

I had made this design long before, but I never found the model for it … Then a woman came in and I said, there is my Bacchante!’” Artist quoted in Margaret Conrads, American Paintings and Sculpture at the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute, 1990

Title
Bacchante and Infant Faun
Artists
Founder
Date
1894
Location
Dimensions
3410 3414 12 in. (86.327.436.8 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase

Mediums
Mediums Description
bronze
Classifications
Keywords
  • Mythology – classical – bacchante
  • Mythology – classical – faun
  • Figure group – female and child – nude
Object Number
1968.23
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI