Medium: bronze, brown patina
Size: 28 3/8 x 9 ½ x 6 3/8 in.
Purchased with funds provided by the Friends of American Art. Image courtesy of Taylor | Graham Gallery.
Part of the American Art Collection
About Frederick MacMonnies
MacMonnies was one of the most successful American sculptors of the late 19th century. Beginning as a student of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, he later studied at the Academy in Paris before establishing a studio in the French capital. As a young artist, he won a number of distinguished prizes for work shown at the annual Paris Salon. In 1890, MacMonnies won the competition to design a monument to honor Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale. His completed life size bronze figure was erected in New York’s City Hall Park in 1892, where it remains today. Nathan Hale was executed by the British in New York after being captured spying for the Continental Army. Just before his death, Hale uttered the now famous words: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” MacMonnies portrays Hale as a young martyr to the American cause whose example of courage is indicative of the national spirit. He stands with his shoulders thrust back and his head lifted. MacMonnies’ sculptural masterwork expresses the vitality of Hale at this dramatic moment with his erect stature and the vivid realism of his countenance and disheveled clothing.