Attributed to Horatio Greenough (1805-1852)
Marble bust of George Washington (1732-1799)
H: 27 in.
Sold on behalf of the Brooklyn Historical Society.
Presented to the Long Island Historical Society, now the Brooklyn Historical Society, in 1915 by Rev. Lea Luquer (1833-1919) and his brother Nicholas Luquer (1837-1932).
Note: From an early and prominent Brooklyn family, the Luquers were related to the Shippen family of Philadelphia through their mother. Both brothers graduated from Columbia. Lea studied law ,but eventually became a minister and served for many years as rector of St. Matthew's Protestant Church in Bedford, New York. Nicholas traveled extensively and lived in Washington, D.C
From a wealthy Boston family, Horatio Greenough traveled to Italy upon graduation from Harvard to study art and remained there for all but three years of his short life. Inspired by Renaissance and ancient Greek and Roman sculpture, Greenough's Washingtons have the short hair, blank eyes and idealized pose of antiquity. In 1832, Greenough was commissioned by the United States government to create a statue of George Washington. He created a colossal seated figure of the first president modeled after a fifth century BC statue of Zeus. Greenough was the first American sculptor to achieve international recognition and his Neoclassical marble busts of George Washington are found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Andalusia Foundation; and the United States Naval Academy Museum. These busts show Washington bare chested or with one shoulder draped. The present fully-draped version may be unique.
Literature: "New York's Memorials of Washington," Munsey's Magazine(1916), p. 60 notes the presence of this bust at the Long Island Historical Society's front office in a survey of portraits and scultpure of the first president in New York city.
Sold for $43,750 (buyer's premium included)