…studies in sculpture and abstraction, spirits and souls…
Studies of Chauncey Bradley Ives’s Undine Receiving Her Soul, 1861.
The description reads:
‘This sculpture appears remarkably different when viewed from opposing sides. The front presents Undine’s face and pose. From behind, the sculpture appears to be a stunning, nearly abstract study in rippling fabric, which streams down her back, gathers fluidly at the waist, and pools on the ground.’
‘Undine was a mythological water spirit who tricked a mortal into marrying her in order to gain a soul. Chauncey Bradley Ives, one of the American sculptors working in Rome, depicted Undine according to a passage in a popular literary account: “But an appearance, from the opening of the fountain…rose like a white column of water; at first they imagined it to be a spouting fountain…until they perceived the form to be a pale female, veiled in white.’
She does indeed catch the eye captivate the imagination as if arriving from a deep pool of the mind….
All images found at SLAM, the Saint Louis Art Museum.