Harriet Frishmuth (1880-1980 New York, NY)
"Allegra," 1929
Patinated bronze on black marble plinth
Signed and dated: Harriet Frishmuth / 1929; Further stamped: Roman Bronze Works Inc.
11.25" H x 7" W x 2.75" D

Notes: Born in Philadelphia on September 17th, 1880, Harriet Frishmuth began her career in sculpture studying under Auguste Rodin in Paris and Jean Antoine Injalbert in Berlin. After returning to the United States, she continued her studies at New York's Art Student's League and even performed dissections at the College of Physicians and Surgeons to further her knowledge of the human form. It is this blend of understanding between the human body with its physiological capabilities and limitations and an almost streamlined artistic eye that is so well balanced in Frishmuth's sculptures. Rejecting the beating drum of Modernism for her preferred figural style, Frishmuth would create works that center on strong, determined women at ease in their bodies for the rest of her career.

One of eighteen statuettes cast at Roman Bronze works in 1929 (an additional thirty-four were cast at Gorham Bronze Works), Allegra was meant as a companion piece to Desha, with both works modeled after Desha Delteil. A Slovenian-born dancer, Delteil began her career as an artist's model in 1918 working with Frishmuth and became prized for her ability to hold difficult poses. Frishmuth described her pose as "the instant of repose in dance just before the dancer begins a new series of movements." (as quoted in Thayer Tolles, Leah Rosenblatt Lehmbeck, Janis Conner, "Captured Motion: The Sculpture of Harriet Frishmuth, A Catalogue of Works," Christies/ Hohmann Holdings, LLC, New York, 2006, p. 49). The figure ambiguously balanced on one leg could be moving into a balancé or a pirouette with one arm delicately outstretched for balance and the other bent in front of the body for kinesis. The face, calm yet determined, is facing opposite the arms, anticipating the body's next move. Harriet

  • Condition: Overall good condition with patination commensurate with age. Scattered chips to the marble plinth, the largest: .5" x .25".

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April 9, 2019 6:00 PM PDT
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