The Spirit of the Lotus Flower

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  • The Spirit of the Lotus FlowerSource: The Lotus Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 4 (Jan., 1913), p. 156Published by:Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20543411 .Accessed: 14/05/2014 00:21

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  • THE SPIRIT OF THE LOTUS FLOWER

    QO NE of the leading Paris papers, in its correspondence from New

    York, speaks of Augustus Lukeman's recently completed sculpture, "The Spirit of the Lotus Flower," as "a re markable figure, to be executed in bronze, as a memorial to Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., in San Diego, Califor nia. The subject is symbolized by an ideal draped female figure seated, with large wings outspread, and most im pressive in character."

    It happens to have been the name of this magazine which suggested to

    Mr. Lukeman, who studied with. Dan iel C. French and has executed many important works of sculpture, to in troduce the lotus in his design and to

    model a winged figure that in pose, expression and general aspect would symbolize the spirit of the lotus flower as interpreted by the Ancient Egyp tians. Having decided upon this and communicated his intention to a mem ber of the Grant family, this member quoted to him some lines from a poem. Neither the author's name nor the title of the poem could be recalled. I have identified it as "The Lotus of the Nile," the beautiful poem printed at the beginning of this number with the permission of the author, Arthur

    Wentworth Eaton, of Boston. It gives the title to a book of poems by him and published by Thomas Whit taker. With the Egyptians the lotus was

    a symbol of eternity, and interpretive of the passive spirit in Nature that goes on forever. It designates a great quiet-not a weird silence, but the vast and solemn quietude of the Never-ending.

    The heroic figure of "The Spirit of the Lotus," impressive in its simplic ity of drapery and dignity of pose, is seen against a background formed in part by its enormous wings that rise over the head, while the drooped pinions extend downward on each side. The right hand, resting on the knee, holds a lotus flower with one bud opened and two closed. Against the left rests the cheek. The pose is one of passive remembrance. The eyes peer forth as if into a great space. The mind seems given over to the distant contemplation of memory. All is silence.

    Grant was a silent man; and in other ways, but unobtrusively, phases of character and facial characteristics of the Grant family are reproduced in this memorial. A grand-daughter of the great commander gave the sculp tor sittings and an effort has been

    made with success to secure what might be called a composite Grant likeness. The sculpture, of course, is not erected to the famous General. Nevertheless his personality was so strong and his fame so great that it

    was thought proper to embody a sug gestion of him in the memorial.

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  • SPIRIT CF THE LOTUS FLOWER

    By Augustus Lukeman

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    Article Contentsp. [156][unnumbered]

    Issue Table of ContentsThe Lotus Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 4 (Jan., 1913), pp. 133-170, i-xFront MatterThe Lotus of the Nile [pp. 133-134]The Land of the Lotus Eaters [pp. 135-136]The Art Museums' Monthly Digest [pp. 137-155]The Spirit of the Lotus Flower [pp. 156-156]The Outlook for American Sculpture [pp. 157-160]Fencing in America [pp. 161-164]Origines et volutions de La Presse [pp. 165-169]The Lotus LeafThe Romance of Old Silver [pp. i-x]

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