The Angel of Death and The Sculptor
By: Daniel Chester French
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
November 10, 2011
The work of art I chose was “The Angel of Death and The Sculptor” by Daniel Chester French. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website, he recreated this piece based on the authentic sculpture by Martin Milmore. Martin Milmore created the piece as a memorial in honor of his brother’s death. The original artwork was made of bronze, but French recreated the piece out of marble. The original work of art is located in Forest Hills Cemetery, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.
In the Metropolitan Museum, the recreation is located in the American Wing. This section of the museum has a glass roof to let sunlight shine through. The work of art is standing up against a flat concrete wall. Several feet in front of the sculpture is a water fountain. I could hear the water flowing as I observed The Angel of Death. It gave me a feeling of serenity.
The piece is a relief sculpture. It seems as though it was meant to be seen from the front, but it has multiple viewing angles. I suspect that French was a fan of the Classical Era. The Angel of Death is standing contrapposto. Her dress drapes around her body; losing sight of her feet. His attention to detail is evident. The dress looks very realistic and free flowing, and you can see the feathers in her wings. She has a cloak or hat that envelopes her face. The way her hand holds the poppies is naturalistic. Her features appear muted about what she is about to do; take the sculptor’s life.
French indicates that the sculptor is very young and talented through his work. Not only does this piece have classical characteristics, but it also has the Old Kingdom attributes. The sculptor is in the middle of creating a profile piece of the Sphinx which is located in Giza, Egypt. He has a long bladed tool in one hand holding above his head, and in the other is a hammer about to...