Today's Memory

Daniel Chester French’s birthday

Daniel Chester French’s birthday

Daniel Chester French’s birthday

Originally shared by Simona AN

Daniel Chester French

April 20, 1850 – October 7, 1931

Daniel Chester French was one of the most prolific and acclaimed American sculptors of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Essentially self-taught, he studied briefly in the 1870s with John Quincy Adams Ward, William Rimmer, William Morris Hunt and Thomas Ball. In 1873 he was awarded the substantial commission for the life-size Minute Man (bronze, 1874) erected in Minute Man National Historical Park, Concord, MA, to commemorate the Battle of Concord. In what became one of his best-known pieces, he adapted the Classical Apollo Belvedere (Rome, Vatican, Mus. Pio-Clementino) for his New England farmer to create a sturdy image that forcefully characterizes the determined patriotism of the men who defended their land. After two years in Italy (1874-1876), French worked in Washington, DC, and Boston, MA, executing architectural sculpture and a number of portraits, including a distinguished marble bust of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1879; Cambridge, MA, Harvard U.) and the statue of Abraham Lincoln (1920) in the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C..

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