William Rush, a Neo-Classical sculptor from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is considered to be America’s first major sculptor. Rush incorporated a strong artisanal craftsmanship unique to America with his training in the timeless Neo-Classical European tradition. Originally a prominent carver of figureheads for ships (Philadelphia at the time was a major shipbuilding center), Rush is also remembered along with Charles Wilson Peale as one of the founders of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art which houses some of his sculptures to this day. Born both coincidentally and ironically on July 4, 1756, Rush was one of the first American sculptors to create sculpture specially designed to be placed outdoors. His use of dramatic contrast and strong shadows was achieved by his signature and distinctive deep undercuts that could be seen from a distance.
This work was cast in bronze in 1971 from the original and unique terra cotta at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. The edition of 15 castings was executed under the authority of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in an agreement with Kennedy Galleries.
The majority of Rush’s sculptures are already securely placed in public collections, making our Self Portrait (The Pine Knot Portrait) a rare opportunity to purchase in the marketplace.
Kennedy Galleries, Inc., New York
Private Collection, Washington, D.C.