Edward McCartan (II) – Some daring elegance

This is a second gallery with carefully selected and adequately presented images of sculptures by Edward Francis McCartan (Albany, NY, 1879-1947), among the big lot that one may find on the Web -many of them with low resolution and wrong captions.

I will add very few comments (if any) and explanations about them in this post, since I fairly think that the works speak by themselves, and do it eloquently.

I have chosen three bronzes:


Diana and Hound, 1920, in the Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, Wisconsin:

Diana and Hound (1920 – bronze – lat. left)

Diana and Hound (1920 – bronze – front)

Another Diana (with another hound) of a smaller size and slightly more stylised, with slimmer and taller figures, both the woman and the dog. (This sculpture belongs to a private collection) :

Edward McCartan Tutt'Art@
Diana with hound (1922 -bronze; heigh: 58.4 cm)

Isoult, with a dove, 1926 – National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.:

Isoult (1926 – bronze; overall size: 211 x 124.5 x 74 cm)

Isoult (1926 – bronze – front)

Isoult (1926 – bronze – head)

This post is a follow-up of another one in this same blog. You may watch it here:

Edward McCartan (I) – The gentle eroticism

16 thoughts on “Edward McCartan (II) – Some daring elegance

  1. The image of the Diana w/ Hound bronze 1922 is a fake or really bad reproduction. There are many being sold posthumously that are not his work but reproductions and I have observed this for many years. There is a larger version which is now being called a reproduction which it is…Heavy handed and lacking the classical grace so apparent with McCartan’s sculptures. Sadly many examples of his work up for auction or on eBay in bronze have been terribly reproduced and it is quite evident by bad proportions and naturally bad sculpting work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot for your comment, Michael 🙂
      I didn’t know that the 1922 variation I posted was a hoax or something not genuine. I noticed all the differences, but in fact I liked them (the straigther, more Greek, nose, the longer and slimmer legs, etc.). I will try to ascertain its falsity, and if so, I will ammend the post and perhaps delete the pictures.
      As for many other, more recent reproductions, found on eBay and elsewhere, I really hate them just as you do.


  2. Yes, knockoff re scuptures exist of his and Frishmuth’s work, and others. One Frishmuth got the fake signature completely garbled. They’re close but not as elegant as the originals. However. DO YOU KNOW where the plaster of Girl drinking from a Shell is located? I’ve seen the full size cast in Reading, Pennsylvania, poorly lit; one source claims McCartan had a marble carved of her for Leslie Emmett, who I think was a painter friend, somewhere in New York state.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I mean that the replicas of Diana are not very good; facial details rudimentary, the angle is different on her arm, and the twist at the waist is without definition. Re Girl drinking from a shell, I was asking if you know where the plaster is? Also, I read that there is a marble version he had carved (many sculptors did and do not carve the marble themselves) for a painter friend in New York state.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. No, sorry. I don’t know where the plaster master is located (I thought it was in Reading). About that marble you mention I cannot tell you anything either.


  4. The bronze of the drinking girl is in Reading Museum. Sadly there are many bronze reproductions not made by the estate of the McCartan, as Carson Barnes mentioned above. The best versions or original McCartan casts are those in the hands of the museums, Brookgreen, National Gallery in DC and Wi etc. What became of the l.s. plaster of drinking girl is anyone’s guess. What sometimes occurred is that the foundry that was doing work for McCartan while he was alive, may have unofficially reproduced or used the molds left by the estate at the foundry. However since there was no QC at the foundry evidently nor by the estate, the market is saturated with terrible fakes. We can see this in many of the candelabras of the boy and girl. Without having the original plaster in the latter case or a pair of originals it is a challenge to see an original vs a reproduction. In most cases however the bronze casts seemly still being reproduced are terrible. Some time ago a larger 3′-4″ Diana with dog came up for auction, it was quite obvious that it was not an original McCartan. Remember that some of the best work by sculptures by sculptors during their lifetime were bought by collectors so may be out of public view unless they come up for auction. I can tell a fake pretty quickly and I see some websites bastardizing his work and selling fakes in Europe and in the US. At one point there was a site up I believe managed buy a relative but I think they took it down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many of the fakes or “after” McCartan sculptures are “clumsy” modeled forms that don’t capture the essence of McCartan’s grace and expertise in the poses and modeling. If you look at the details you can see this clumsy modeling. Its easier to copy a Rodin than it is a Frishmuth, MacMonnies or a McCartan. Sadly there is very little about him. He was an instructor , a couple of my sculptor mentors had McCartan as a teacher. Fortunately his work is still available to see. His style blended both a naturalism and an art decorative approach. I have a blog on facebook called Figurative Sculpture in History and I profile sculptors like McCartan. If any one would like consultation about a McCartan or other figurative sculptor feel free to reach out to me.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks a lot for the long, detailed information. It’s obvious you are an expert, and so I will revise my posts on McCartan according to what you say.


    3. Thanks a lot for the long, detailed information. It’s obvious you are an expert, and so I will revise my posts on McCartan according to what you say.


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