Bronze, 7 7/8 x 4 9/16 inches
(20 x 11.59 cm.), private collection


David Maitland Armstrong, 1877

David Maitland Armstrong (1836-1918) was a painter and later a designer of stained glass. He was born near Newburgh, New York. After college, he studied painting in Rome and Paris, and from 1869 to 1872 was United States consul to the Papal States. It was in Rome that he met Saint-Gaudens in 1872. The two men shared a studio in New York in the German Savings Bank Building at Fourth Avenue and 14th Street, where this relief was modeled in 1877. It was Saint-Gaudens’ first bas-relief portrait, and the first of a series of Renaissance-inspired portrait reliefs of artist friends and associates. The relief was cast in bronze in Paris. Armstrong and Saint-Gaudens hung the entries of American art in the U.S. Pavilion at the Paris Exposition in 1878, which resulted in Armstrong’s award of the Legion of Honor by the French government.