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Chauncey Bradley Ives (1810–1894)


APG 8549.002


CHAUNCEY BRADLEY IVES (1810–1894), Ariadne, 1861. Marble, 31 in. high

Ariadne, 1861
Marble, 31 in. high
Signed, dated, and inscribed (on the back): C. B. IVES / FECIT / ROMAE 1861


Ariadne, 1861
Marble, 31 in. high
Signed, dated, and inscribed (on the back): C. B. IVES / FECIT / ROMAE 1861

RECORDED: cf. Horace Greeley, ed., Art and Industry as Represented in the Exhibition at the Crystal Palace, New York—1853–54, Showing the Progress and the State of the Various Useful and Esthetic Pursuits (1853), p. 62 // cf. Madame Octavia Walton Le Vert, Souvenirs of Travel, vol. II (1857), p. 160 // cf. William H. Gerdts, “Chauncey Bradley Ives, American Sculptor,” Antiques XCIV (November 1968), p. 716 // cf. The Newark Museum, New Jersey, American Art in the Newark Museum: Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture (1981), pp. 238 illus., 411

EXHIBITED: cf. The Crystal Palace, New York, 1853–54, New-York Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations // cf. Bartholet Gallery, New York, 7 Pieces of Neo-classic Sculpture by Chauncey Bradley Ives, 1810–1894, (n.d.), illus.

 EX COLL.: Margaret Woodbury Strong (1897–1969), Rochester, New York; to her estate; to the Strong Museum, Rochester, New York, 1973–2005

Ariadne was first modeled by Ives in 1852. It depicts in bust form the mythological figure of Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Crete, conqueror of Athens. Minos and the Athenians were required to sacrifice seven virgins annually to the Minotaur, guardian of the Labyrinth. One year, young Theseus volunteered to slay the Minotaur and free Athens from its gruesome contract. Ariadne fell in love with Theseus on first sight, and gave him a magic sword and a ball of thread to help him find his way out of the Labyrinth. After Theseus was successful in his quest, Ariadne ran off with him, after which, for reasons that are unclear, Theseus left Ariadne sleeping on the isle of Naxos. (This is the subject of the most famous representation of Ariadne in American art, John Vanderlyn’s Ariadne Asleep on the Island of Naxos [1809–14, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia].) When Ariadne awoke and found herself alone on Naxos, she became bitter and despondent. She called on the gods for vengeance, and Zeus answered her pleas by sending Dionysos and his priests to Naxos to rescue her. Dionysos married Ariadne, but she was later killed by Perseus at Argos. Dionysos descended into Hades to retrieve her and her mother, however, and they joined the gods in Olympus.

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