October 20, 2009

Martin Milmore: Noted Sculptor

Martin Milmore (1844-1883) was a native of Sligo, Ireland. A tall man with large dark eyes and long dark hair, he was said to be “a picturesque figure” by his sculptor friend Daniel Chester French. With his brother Thomas Milmore, he was one of the most influential sculptors of the mid nineteenth century and was mentor and friend to a generation of artists who continued his vision after his untimely death at the age of 39. The Milmore Monument is known as Death Staying the Sculptor’s Hand, and is considered to be the masterpiece of Daniel Chester French. The memorial celebrates the lives of sculptor Martin Milmore (1844-1883) and his brother Joseph (1841-1886), a talented stonecutter who taught the art of carving to Martin; the Milmore Family were Irish immigrants who settled in Boston in 1851. The beautiful allegorical figure of the Angel of Death gently lays her hand on the sculptor’s hand, as a reminder that she has come to usher him away. In her other hand Death carries a bouquet of poppies, which holds the promise of eternal sleep. The sculptor, wearing his work apron and holding his tools, is surprised, bewildered and seemingly unwilling to be interrupted.

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