Leo Friedlander is a great American sculptor and held such important positions as Vice President of the Architectural League, President of the National Sculpture Society, Honorary Member of the Catholic Art Society and Academician at the National Academy of Design in New York to name just a few of his affiliations. He was of course a monumental sculptor who received many great commissions including four huge panel reliefs at the RCA building at Rockefeller Center and the colossal Valor and Sacrifice which stand at the foot of the Arlington Memorial Bridge in Washington D.C.
Leo Friedlander wins the Prix de Rome in 1913 and spends the honorary three years after that as a fellow of the Academy in Rome. Female Warrior was likely modeled in Rome as it closely corresponds in style to his work A Bacchante which is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York and dates to 1916, his last year in Rome. The head gear and dress of the model would very much have come from his study of Roman sculpture throughout the city and museums. There does not appear to be an American narrative in this work and the volume of the piece and attention to detail speaks of a sculptor being heavily influenced by Roman works.
The use of line in the hair and throughout the clothing is very similar to Paul Manship’s approach to sculpture at this time. One can easily see how Friedlander would transition from a work like this to a slightly Deco and WPA style of American work in the years to come. This work has a sensational patina which compliments the work greatly. Friedlander would always have this approach to his female form in terms of very sturdy and broad shape that conveys solidity and strength. It is a marvelous melding of design, modernity and classicism which was the bedrock of early 20th century American works. It is possible that Friedlander only cast one version of this model and if there are more it would probably not number more than 13 and it is improbable the edition realized that number.
Private Collection, Maryland area