Something attracted me to this sculpture in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery – I’m not sure exactly what. For some time I had no information about it, but just recently I bumped into Kit Gentry’s site, particularly the section on Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, which provides the following information:
This is a monument to John Hudson Hall. It was carved by Augustus Saint Gaudens, who is remembered as one of the greatest American sculptors. This winged figure is a variation of another of his works, called “Amor Caritas,” which can be seen in bronze form at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. In my opinion, however, this stone version with a different pose is by far the superior achievement.
Davida Johnson Clark was the model for this work, and for several other notable sculptures by Augustus Saint Gaudens, as well. But Saint Gaudens was no saint. The sculptor eventually found himself supporting two households with children – one with his wife, and one with Davida, his model. Saint Gaudens’ wife eventually discovered the secret, and didn’t care for the news one little bit. After Saint Gaudens became ill with cancer, his wife whisked him away from New York City to their summer estate in Cornish, New Hampshire (now a National Historic Site), and he never saw Davida again. Both the sculptor and his model eventually perished from cancer within three years of each other.