In more ways than one, this sculpture’s current site—an intimate, leafy Gothic courtyard—echoes the setting in which it was made. Reg Butler created The Bride over a five-year period at his Elizabethan home in Hertfordshire, England. From its initial plaster to its final casting, Butler worked in a garden surrounded by trees. As the sculptor wrote, “The Bride probably owes a great deal to the adjacent tree trunks and the leaves around me all the time.” The effects of this environment are apparent in the sculpture, for the figure seems to emerge, treelike, from the earth. The lower body simulates the clean contour of a tree trunk; like foliage, the armless torso swells into a crowning mass. From a volume evoking a bridal veil, the features of a woman’s face emerge to reveal an introspective bride.