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Frederick MacMonnies’ earliest training in art came at the age of seventeen, when he apprenticed to Augustus Saint-Gaudens in New York. The sculptor continued his studies at the National Academy of Design and The Art Students League of New York. By 1884, he traveled to Paris, where, as a student at the École des Beaux-Arts, MacMonnies began modeling his first life-size figure depicting Diana, goddess of the hunt and personification of the moon. Diana quickly earned a reputation as MacMonnies' first significant sculpture, establishing his career both at home and abroad. The life-size plaster cast, displayed at the Paris Salon of 1889, received an honorable mention.

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