Resting Stag

About 1916–17


Dimensions

45.7 x 53.3 x 26.7 cm (18 x 21 x 10 1/2 in.) including base

Accession Number

2002.1

Medium or Technique

Bronze, original onyx base

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Sculpture

Figure of a resting stag with antlers, head curving backward, one front leg forward and the other bent backward.


A native of Warsaw who studied classical art in Munich and moved to Paris in 1904, Elie Nadelman was immersed in the world of the European avant-garde. As he worked to develop his own distinctive style, Nadelman drew upon the smooth linearity and restrained expression of classical Greek art to create boldly simplified figures with curving lines. His work achieved critical acclaim during his years in Paris and attracted the attention of an American patron, Helena Rubenstein. In August 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, Rubenstein helped Nadelman relocate to New York.

“Resting Stag” is one of a group of animal figures Nadelman created in preparation for an exhibition at the New York gallery Scott and Fowles in 1917. A stylized and graceful work, its clean, flowing lines reflect Nadelman’s synthesis of classical ideals and modern influences. The streamlined contours and luxurious surfaces of the bronze figure and onyx base foreshadowed the sophisticated Art Deco look that emerged in the 1920s.

This text was adapted from Ward, et al., MFA Highlights: American Decorative Arts & Sculpture (Boston, 2006) available at www.mfashop.com/mfa-publications.html.

Provenance

Collection of the artist; given to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wright Guthridge (his step-daughter [Viola] and husband) upon their marriage in 1919; by gift to their daughter, Mrs. Aileen Guthridge Malinowski; to her estate in 2001; Menconi and Schoelkopf Fine Art, New York, New York.

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by Frank B. Bemis Fund, Barbara L. and Theodore B. Alfond, an anonymous donor, Edwin E. Jack Fund, Arthur Mason Knapp Fund, Ernest Kahn Fund, Arthur Tracy Cabot Fund, Frederick Brown Fund, Morris and Louise Rosenthal Fund, Samuel Putnam Avery Fund, and Joyce Arnold Rusoff Fund