Signed H. Powers and inscribed 'sculpt'
Height: 22 inches (56 cm)
Conceived and carved circa 1862
Examples of Eve Disconsolate are in numerous prominent international museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio; Chrysler Museum, Virginia and The Huntington Art Gallery.
Hiram Powers, one of the first American-born sculptors to achieve international fame, became the directing influence in the development of neoclassical sculpture in America. Born in Vermont, his first job was as a clockmaker but later he began to create wax figures in a waxwork museum.
His first major success came when he moved to Washington DC and sculpted a bust of President Jackson and John Quincy Adams. He then traveled to Florence, Italy which became his primary residence.
He is best known for his sculptures: Fisher Boy, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and The Greek Slave, shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and now on display at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC.
First carved in 1862, Eve Disconsolate was a popular image and was commissioned numerous times, however, this particular bust, with a height of 22-inches, is rare as it was only carved in marble in this size for two clients.
Powers conceived the idea for Eve Disconsolate in a sculpture he carved in 1839, entitled Eve Tempted, with which he was never entirely satisfied. Powers stated: “I was not satisfied with my first attempt… Eve did not afford an opportunity for the expression of bewilderment distress or remorse.”
Eve Disconsolate depicts the emotion and passion felt by Eve only a moment after the Fall, when she has succumbed to temptation by the serpent. In his own words, Powers aimed to illustrate the “nobleness of form and womanly dignity of expression.” He wanted the new Eve to excel in beauty and religious intent. The small-scale model was started in March 1859 and completed a few years later.
The Greek Slave was one of the pieces shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851
Fisher Boy by Hiram Powers, carved 1857 on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Plaster model of Eve Tempted in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC