Chrysler Museum of Art

Norfolk, Virginia

(757) 664-6200


The Ricau Collection of American Sculpture

Peter Stephenson, The Wounded Indian, 1848-1850, 38 1/8 x 59 x 31 inches

In 1825-27 the Boston-born sculptor Horatio Greenough visited Rome, where his art was transformed by the fashionable Neoclassical style and by the ancient Greek and Roman sculptures that inspired that aesthetic. In 1828 he again left the United States and this time settled permanently in Florence. Not only was Greenough America's first professional sculptor, he was the first to study in Italy and take up residence there. During the half-century after his historic migration, scores ofAmerica's finest sculptors followed his lead, traveling to Florence and Rome to study Neoclassicism and to live and work among the marble gods of Italy's antique past. Together these expatriate "Yankee stonecutters" created America's first genuine school of sculptors. Their lofty, ideal marbles of classical deities, Biblical heroes and America's Founding Fathers ended forever the provincialism of earlier American wood and wax carving, and in time brought the United States to the forefront of the international art world. Noted collector James H. Ricau brought all of this together.

Bertel Thorwaldsen, Ganymede and the Eagle, 1817, 32 3/8 x 41 3/4 inches

 

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For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 11/26/10


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