Crucifix, bronze on wood

Models (continued)

Sargent deliberately sawed off the bottom of the plaster model at the level of Christ’s ankles, and the lower section no longer exists. What this section originally looked like is not known, but undoubtedly Sargent revised it at least once. A bronze cast of the model suggests one version. The bronze has an upper section identical to the plaster model. The lower section shows a serpent coiled under Christ’s feet and a pelican, wings outstretched, on the medallion at the foot of the cross. However, the pelican faces forward rather than turning to the side as in the Library sculpture.
Study for “Crucifix,” Boston Public Library,
ca. 1899
Bronze, 111.76 x 76.2 x 8.89 cm
Fogg Art Museum*
The Triumph of Religion