Eve Disconsolate

Hiram Powers (American, 1805–1873)
1871
Currently on view
MediumMarble
Dimensions77 × 20 inches
CreditGift of the Berol Family in Memory of Mrs. Gella Berolzheimer, 1951
Accession Number51.18

The American 19th-century sculptor Hiram Powers was obsessed with Eve, often called “the Mother of Mankind.” Early in his career he created a sculpture of Eve before her “Fall,” titled Eve Tempted. Here, in Eve Disconsolate, Eve’s gestures of shame and the snake lying at her feet are clues to the viewer to relive this dramatic moment from the Bible, as was the work’s alternate title—Paradise Lost. The story of Eve’s temptation provided an acceptable reason for her nudity, life studies not common at the time. Alexander Turney Stewart, the department store magnate, displayed this sculpture in his art gallery in his New York City mansion at Fifth Avenue and 34th Street.