Augusta Homer Saint-Gaudens, 1905-7

Augusta Fisher Homer Saint-Gaudens (1848-1926) was born in Roxbury (Boston), Massachusetts, the daughter of Thomas Johnston and Elizabeth Fisher Homer. In 1874, while studying painting in Rome, she met Saint-Gaudens. Her parents’ consent to the marriage was given when Saint-Gaudens received the commission for the Farragut Monument in December 1876, and they were married in Roxbury on June 4, 1877. The couple departed for Europe on June 6. Augusta’s chronic and increasing deafness, as well as her more formal habits, kept her somewhat to the side of the studio hustle and bustle. However, in the sculptor’s later years Augusta devoted herself to managing the studio and handling correspondence.

This portrait was begun when the sculptor was dying of cancer and could no longer stand up. Saint-Gaudens claimed that he could not finish it because the dog had been given a "mysterious haircut." Mrs. Saint-Gaudens holds in her right hand a bowl (the Golden Bowl presented to Saint-Gaudens in the 1905 Masque at "Aspet"). In the background are two Doric columns and the landscape as seen from the porch of the Little Studio at "Aspet." In the face of the Sheepdog "Doodles" which Saint-Gaudens has roughly sketched in, he has hidden his own profile, and on Augusta's sleeve is hidden a heart.



Bronze, 35 13/16 x 23 1/4 inches
(91 x 59.1 cm.), collection of SGNHS