Chauncey Bradley Ives

(14 December 1810 - 2 Aug 1894)

Chauncey Ives was one of the most popular American sculptors in the last half of the 19th century who worked in the neoclassical style (a style based on the classical works of ancient Greece and Rome). Ives began his career by first sculpting portrait busts and by age thirty he moved to Boston where he was a notable portrait sculptor. After moving to New York where he exhibited at the National Academy of Design, he fell ill and traveled to Florence, Italy for his health. There he met other American sculptors such as Horatio Greenough and Hiram Powers, arguably the most famous American neoclassical sculptor. Exposure to Florence's art treasures encouraged Ives to experiment with classical subjects while continuing to produce portraits. In 1851, Ives moved to Rome where the classical influences of the city were reflected in the idealism of his sculpture. His works continued to be popular in the United States and often he would make several copies of the same work. For instance, Undine, a work held in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, was one of his more popular works and over ten copies were made.

Later in his career, Ives was commissioned by Connecticut for two of the state's submissions to the United States Capitol National Statuary Hall Collection: Jonathan Trumbull and Roger Sherman. Through the latter part of his career his studio continued to create replicas while he sculpted portrait busts.

Although no longer as famous as some of his peers, Ives's works can be found in many art museums, the U.S. Capitol, parks, and college campuses.

Note: Unsure if picture is Ives.

© Copyright Ownership: Smithsonian Libraries

American sculptor, a native of Connecticut, but lor many years a resident of Rome. Among his ideal works are statues of "Rebecca," "Sans Souci," "Cupid with his Net," "Shepherd-Boy," "Pandora," "Bacchante," "White Captives," "At the Well," and "Shepherd with a Kid." He has made busts of General Scott, William H. Seward, and others. To the American Centennial Exhibition of 1876 he sent "Nursing the Infant Bacchus." He is the author of the statue of Trumbull, in marble, in front of the new State House, at Hartford, Connecticut.

Artists of the Nineteenth Century, their Work & Biographical Sketches, Clara Erskine Clement & Laurence Hutton, 1879.

Chauncey Bradley Ives was a prolific American sculptor who worked primarily in the Neo-classic style. His best known works are the marble statues of Jonathan Trumbull and Roger Sherman enshrined in the National Statuary Hall Collection.

Ives was born in Hamden, Connecticut and at the age of 16 was apprenticed to Rodolphus Northrop, a woodcarver in nearby New Haven. He may also have studied with Hezekiah Augur, another local woodcarver who was a pioneer American marble carver. Shortly thereafter Ives turned to marble carving and began carving portraits, first in Boston, Massachusetts and then in New York City.

Poor health eventually convinced Ives to move to Europe in 1844, where he ultimately settled in the expatriate artist community there. He was to remain in Italy, after moving to Rome in 1851, for the rest of his life. His final resting place is in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome in Rome.

Ives' statue of "Undine Receiving Her Soul", remains one of the icons of the American neo-classical movement, being selected to grace the front covers of at least three books about sculpture, American Sculpture at Yale University, Marble Queens and Captives and A Marble Quarry, where the back of the statue also serves as the book's back cover. Ives was to revisit the subject of Undine in another work, "Undine Rising from the Fountain".

Ives' reputation did not survive much longer than his life. Art historian and sculptor Lorado Taft includes him in Taft's seminal book The History of American Sculpture in a chapter entitled "Some Minor Sculptors of the Early Years", and says of his Trumbull and Sherman statues at the Connecticut State Capitol, "Descriptions of these curious works would be unprofitable. They fit in nicely with the majority of their companions, but of all the dead man there they seem the most conscious of being dead."

Unlike most of his other works "The Willing Captive", (1886), while still designed to appeal to the 19th Century desire for sentimentality in art, contained more content than is typically found in art of that era. The work, subtitled "An Historical Incident of November, 1764", depicts a real event that occurred during the French and Indian War in which a young woman is torn between the Natives that she has been living with after being captured by them and a white woman, her mother, who has come to take her back. The work now resided in Lincoln Park, Newark, New Jersey. Like many other Victorian era artists Ives studio in Rome generated a large number of works drawn from Greek and other mythologies.

Some of these portrait statues and busts include ones of:
Roger Sherman, (1870)
Noah Webster, (1840)
William H. Seward, (1857)
Edward Hitchcock
Thomas Williams
Roger Sherman, (1878)
Jonathan Trumbull, (1878)
Jeremiah Day
Thomas Day, (1842)
Rev. Dr. Nathaniel William Taylor, (1860)
Ithiel Town
Frances Pierce & her infant daughter. (1864), Rosehill Cemetery, United States, Chicago

Oxford Reference; Oxford Dictionary of American Art and Artists; The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art; en.Wikipedia


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