About this artwork
The modernist sculptor John Flannagan was acclaimed for his mastery of the technique of direct carving, in which he developed his creative ideas without the use of preliminary models or the aid of assistants, both of which were common practices among academic sculptors. He carved Ram while in Ireland in 1930, where he was drawn to the animals that populated the bucolic countryside. By this time, Flannagan had embraced pantheism, the belief that all things, including nature, are part of an all-encompassing divinity. As a result, he chose to sculpt animals because he believed they represented an unspoiled, natural state of existence, and he worked the stone as little as possible to maintain this purity. Flannagan’s animal sculptures from his Irish period were warmly received by critics upon his return to New York, lauded for their “simple and homespun and elemental” style.
- John Bernard Flannagan
- United States
- c. 1930
- 36.8 × 19.1 × 31.1 cm (14 1/2 × 7 1/2 × 12 1/4 in.)
- Through prior acquisition of the George F. Harding Collection