While a student at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, MacMonnies began modeling his first statue, “Diana”. After earning an honorable mention for a life-size plaster cast of it at the Salon of 1889, MacMonnies cast Diana as a bronze statuette the following year. Here, the Roman goddess is represented as a huntress wearing a crescent-moon hairpiece. She balances athletically on one foot, having just released an arrow from the bow in her left hand. MacMonnies modeled Diana not as a perfect classical goddess but as an agile young woman, her face and body revealing the naturalism that became a hallmark of the sculptor’s style.
Inscription: [top of base, back]: [cursive] To. My. Friend. Edward. D. Adams. / Esq. / F MacMonnies / 1890 / Paris
Marking: [foundry mark, back of base]: GRUET • FONDEUR • PARIS •