Augustus Saint-Gaudens is an American sculptor

Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Adams Memorial, 1891
Adams Memorial, 1891.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens is an American sculptor who brilliantly perpetuated the history of his native country in bronze for future generations.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens is a famous American sculptor of the second half of the 19th century. He was known for creating a galaxy of monuments to prominent US military and political figures.

Augustus St. Gaudens was also one of the founders of the famous art colony in the Corniche, in which many famous cultural figures of the United States worked. And in his estate, there is a historical center dedicated to the life and work of the great artist.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Monument Abraham Lincoln - man, 1887
Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Monument Abraham Lincoln – man, 1887.


When the future artist was barely six months old, his parents emigrated to America and settled in New York. Six years later, the younger brother of Augustus, Louis, was born here, who later also became a famous sculptor.

At the age of thirteen, the parents sent their eldest son to study with Louis Avet, at the same time Augustus began attending drawing courses at Cooper Union College. And after 2 years, the teenager got a job as an assistant in the workshop of Jules de Breton. And he became a student at the American Academy of Design.

Having received his diploma in 1867, Augustus immediately went to the capital of France. Under the guidance of Francois Jouffroy, the young sculptor studied for three years, and then left for Rome.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Monument to William Sherman, 1903.
Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Monument to William Sherman, 1903.

In the capital of Italy, Saint-Gaudens lived for another four years and it was here that he completed his first works as an independent master. In addition, in the Apennines, he met his future wife Augusta Hommer. And in the summer of 1877 the couple got married in New York, later their only son Homer was born.

Upon returning from Italy to the USA in 1874, the young sculptor immediately received an order from the influential politician Edwards Pierpont to make a marble bust. Although the author had to redo the original version of the sculptural image several times, in the end the customer was satisfied, which contributed to the growth of Augustus’s popularity.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Robert Gould Shaw Memorial, 1884
Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Robert Gould Shaw Memorial, 1884.

In 1876, the authorities of New York organized a competition for the manufacture of a memorial to the hero of the Civil War, David Farragut, and Saint-Gaudens became the winner. The young sculptor created a magnificent bronze statue of the famous admiral. The statue still adorns the square in Madison Square Park. Augustus quickly gained immense popularity in his hometown and began to consistently receive orders from public organizations, individuals and authorities.

The most fruitful stage in the life of the master began, which lasted until the end of the 19th century. Augustus Saint-Gaudens organized his own workshop, hired assistants and created many beautiful monuments. He taught young sculptors at the Art Students League.

Monument Abraham Lincoln - head of state, 1908
Monument Abraham Lincoln – head of state, 1908.

The master was at the zenith of fame, but in early 1900, doctors diagnosed him with cancer. This circumstance served as an impetus for the revision of life values.

The authoritative sculptor decided to leave New York for the Corniche, where he had his own spacious house with a studio and luxurious gardens. Here, away from the noise of a large metropolis, he continued to work until his death. Gradually, the small provincial town became a center of attraction for other figures of American culture. They began to settle in the neighborhood with the famous master. This is how the famous Cornish Art Colony was formed, in which more than a hundred prominent creative personalities lived.

Monument to David Farragut, 1881
Monument to David Farragut, 1881.

But the incurable disease progressed rapidly and the life of the great sculptor was inexorably approaching a sad end. On August 3, 1907, Augustus Saint-Gaudens died at his country estate in the Corniche. And after his death, the art colony gradually ceased to exist, and in a small town today only the house-museum of the brilliant master reminds of it.

Monument to Peter Cooper, 1897
Monument to Peter Cooper, 1897.
Puritan, 1887
Puritan, 1887.
Statue of Saint Gaudens in Washington DC
Statue of Saint Gaudens in Washington DC.