Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

This statuette is modeled after a figure from the celebrated fountain of the Austrian rivers in Vienna by Georg Raphael Donner, the leading sculptor of his day. The work may have been modeled by one of the many sculptors who were influenced by Donner’s classicizing style. The softness of the lead in which the figure is cast enhances the subtle effects of the nymph’s soft flesh and the tactility of the sheets and drapery around her.

Small sculptures cast in metal or ceramic not only satisfied collectors’ desire to acquire works by well-known masters, but helped promote a sculptor’s oeuvre to wider audiences. For instance, small bronzes by Cellini, Giambologna, and other Italian Renaissance artists that drew heavily on antique models were sought after for princely collections, where they could be admired and studied by other sculptors.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
After Georg Raphael Donner, Austrian (Esslingen im Marchfeld [now Vienna] 1693 - 1741 Vienna, Austria)
Possibly attributable to Jakob Gabriel Mollinarolo, Austrian (Vienna, Austria 1717 - 1780 Vienna, Austria)
Reclining Nymph with Small Dog
Other Titles
Original Language Title: Ruhende Nymphe mit Hündchen
Work Type
after 1739
Persistent Link
Level 2, Room 2220, European and American Art, 17th–19th century, Rococo and Neoclassicism in the Eighteenth Century
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
with base: 30.1 x 40.2 x 19.8 cm (11 7/8 x 15 13/16 x 7 13/16 in.)
sight: 24.7 x 39 x 19.8 cm (9 3/4 x 15 3/8 x 7 13/16 in.)
Michael Grittner, Vienna, Austria. Anna and Guido Schwartz, Baden. Stephan von Auspitz, Vienna, Austria (by 1920). Oskar Bondy, Vienna, Austria. [Blumka Gallery, New York, NY (by 1952), sold]; to Fogg Art Museum (1952-1964), transferred; to Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1964.

In Erika Tietze-Conrat’s 1920 publication “Österreichische Barockplastik” the work was listed as being in the Auspitz collection in Vienna.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Association Fund
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.
Publication History

Erika Tietze-Conrat, Österreichische Barockplastik, Verlag A. Schroll & Co., g.m.b.h. (Vienna, Austria, 1920), p. 139, repr. p. 84 as fig. 48 [as being in the Auspitz collection in Vienna]

John Coolidge, "Donner Statue of a 'Resting Nymph'", Fogg Art Museum Annual Report (Cambridge, MA, 1951-1952), pp. 17-18, pp. 17-18

German and Austrian Sculpture of the Eighteenth Century, exh. cat., University of Kansas Museum of Art (Lawrence, KS, 1955), introduction (np), cat. 2, repr.

Charles L. Kuhn, German and Netherlandish Sculpture, 1280-1800, the Harvard Collections, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1965), p. 31, cat. no. 78 pp. 127-128, repr. as pl. LXVIII

Anneliese Harding, German Sculpture in New England Museums, Goethe Institute (Boston, MA, 1972), p. 18, repr. p. 67 as fig. 119

Claudia Diemer, "Wiener Porzellanfiguren in der Nachfolge Georg Raphael Donners", Alte und Moderne Kunst (1979), Heft 165, pp. 21-26, pp. 25-26, p. 26 note 51, repr. p. 25 as fig. 15

Charles Werner Haxthausen, The Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University, Abbeville Press (New York, NY, 1980), p. 83, repr. pp. 82-83

Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), no. 350, p. 296, repr.

Georg Raphael Donner, 1693-1741: Unteres Belvedere, 2. Juni bis 30. September 1993, exh. cat., Österreichische Galerie (Vienna, Austria, 1993), cat. no. 65 pp. 362, repr. pp. 361, 363

Harvard University Art Museums, Masterpieces of world art : Fogg Art Museum, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1997

Peter Nisbet and Joseph Koerner, The Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, ed. Peter Nisbet, Harvard University Art Museums and Scala Publishers Ltd. (Cambridge, MA and London, England, 2007), p. 211

Exhibition History

German and Austrian Sculpture of the Eighteenth Century, University of Kansas Museum of Art, Lawrence, 10/15/1955 - 11/30/1955

The Age of Elegance: The Rococo and its Effect, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 04/25/1959 - 06/14/1959

German Rococo and Romanticism, Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, 03/12/1977 - 05/01/1977

Georg Raphael Donner, 1693-1741, Österreichische Galerie, Vienna, 06/02/1993 - 09/30/1993

32Q: 2220 18th-19th Century, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at