Isidore Konti was born in Hungary and studied in Austria, where he became a skilled practitioner of the classicizing style popular in the late 19th century. Some of his earliest works in the United States were temporary monumental sculptures for the 1901 World’s Fair in Buffalo, New York.
In 1902, Konti exhibited this plaster, intended as a full-scale model for a fountain, at the National Sculpture Society’s exhibition in Madison Square Garden. His idealized allegory of water embodies turn-of-the-century Beaux Arts style. Her fluid and sensuous forms are based on the S-curve (the “line of beauty”).
Wealthy lawyer Samuel Untermyer may have seen The Brook in this debut because the next year he commissioned a marble version. Konti’s work on this project brought him to Yonkers, where Untermyer’s beautiful suburban estate with Hudson River views motivated him to move to the area.
Untermyer spent years landscaping and embellishing his grounds with statuary, classical colonnades, and reflecting pools; but after his death, the estate was dispersed and the marble Brook’s whereabouts are unknown. His mansion, Greystone, no longer exists, but a portion of garden is now preserved as a public park.