At the age of thirty-six, Saint-Gaudens saw this as his chance to create an important equestrian figure, as most sculptors might have. His first pencil and clay sketches depict this conception. Shaw's parents, however, felt it presumptuous to represent a young colonel in the context traditionally reserved for generals, and Saint-Gaudens then came up with the idea of placing his equestrian figure "with his troops in a bas relief." As Saint-Gaudens later wrote, "I made a sketch showing this scheme...and the monument as it now stands is virtually what I indicated."

Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Early drawing for The Shaw Memorial, about 1882, Dartmouth College Library

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IntroductionThe ArtistHistorical BackgroundThe Memorial and Its ConservationThe ExhibitionTeaching Resources

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