Diana, huntress, defender of the forest, protector of virgins and women, guardian of the weak and vulnerable, emblem of chastity, archetype of femininity and feminism, twin to Apollo, and lunar goddess. Diana is most often depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows. She is also attributed with a faun or a hunting dog at her side, and a moon either on her head or under her feet. Though venerated in both Greek and Roman mythology, Diana is thought to have an earlier origin as Artemis Ephesus the Great Mother Goddess from which all creation came. Over the centruies, she has been known by many other names, including Artemis, Potnia Theron, Agrotera, Locheia, and Phoebe.
Anna Hyatt Huntington’s bronze sculpture, Diana of the Hunt, is a focal point in the Cummer’s Gardens. As you walk out the doors of the Loggia and down the colonnade, you can’t help but be drawn to the graceful beauty of this dynamic figure. Huntington’s skill is remarkable, in her ability to show movement and strength in the figure. She was an innovative and prolific American sculptor, known for her naturalistic animals and figures, and her equestrian statues.
In 1960, while the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens was still under construction, Hyatt Huntington offered to have her sculpture of Diana recast so that it could be placed in the future gardens of the museum. This version was cast by the Modern Art Foundry of New York and is not signed or dated. The artist had a long history of installing her sculptures in gardens. She and her late husband Archer Huntington fully conceived and decorated Brookgreen Gardens, one of their estates in South Carolina.