Charles Stewart Butler and Lawrence Smith Butler, 1880-1881
plaster, .622 x .902 m (24 1/2 x 35 1/2 in.)
accessory size: .848 x 1.130 x 0.44 m (33 3/8 x 44 1/2 x 1 3/4 in.)
Avalon Fund and Margaret Bouton Memorial Fund
Rendered in a delicate, shallow bas-relief, these two young brothers wear Scottish kilts and sporran pouches. Six-year-old Lawrence Smith Butler embraces four-year-old Charles Stewart Butler, who tenderly clasps the older boy's hand. As recorded in a beautifully lettered dedication below their profile figures, the work was modeled from October 1880 to March 1881.
Augustus Saint-Gaudens made this dual portrait as a favor to his friend, the architect Stanford White, who in 1884 was to marry the boys' aunt. White presented a bronze relief to Prescott Hall Butler, the boys' father, a prominent New York attorney. Saint-Gaudens cast this plaster version as a memento for White. Behind the brothers, a ribbon interlace contains a comforting Latin verse from Virgil's Aeneid: "God will give an end to these bad times."