Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Robert Louis Stevenson

Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Robert Louis Stevenson

– [Stephen Scher] The close friendship that developed between
Robert Louis Stevenson and Augustus Saint-Gaudens
is evident in this medallion. One of the great sculptor’s
finest and most popular works. Saint-Gaudens had professed
a deep admiration for the writings of Stevenson. And expressed a desire to his friend, the painter Will Low, to
meet the famous author to ask if he could do his portrait. Low arranged a meeting when Stevenson was visiting New York in 1887. The two formed an immediate bond. The poet endowing Saint-Gaudens with the title godlike sculptor
from a poem by Emerson. The artist proceeded to produce this image in a medallion issued
in various diameters. I have always been profoundly moved by the sympathetic portrayal
of the ailing poet, reclining in his bed, a sheaf of papers on his lap, cigarette in hand
accompanied by the quotation of the author’s melancholy
poem dedicated to Will Low. Youth now flees on feathered foot Faint and fainter sounds the flute, Rarer songs of gods; and still Somewhere on the sunny hill, Or along the winding stream, Through willows, flits a dream; Flits, but shows a smiling face, Flees, but with so quaint a grace, None can choose to stay at home, All must follow, all must roam. This is unborn beauty: she Now in the air floats high and free, Takes the sun and breaks the blue, Late with stooping pinion flew Raking hedgerow trees, and wet Her wing in silver streams, and set Shining foot on temple roof, Now again she flies aloof, Coasting mountain clouds and kissed By the evening’s amethyst. In wet wood and miry lane, Still we pant and pound in vain, Still with leaden foot we chase Waning pinion, fainting face, Still with gray hair we stumble on, Till, behold, the vision gone! Where hath fleeting beauty led? To the doorway of the dead. Life is over, life was gay. We have come the primrose way. Here is a perfect collaboration between two great artists preserved forever in this
magnificent creation.

1 Reply to “Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Robert Louis Stevenson”

  1. I am inspire by both of the artists. Augustus Saint Gaudens for his sculptures work, and Robert Louis Stevenson for poetical art.

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