Bust of "Greek Slave" by Hiram Powers


Greek Slave, model, 1841-1843, carved 1846

13 1/2 X 7 X 7 in. 

"It appears to me difficult to imagine a more beautiful and faultless representation of the "human form divine".  But for the chain which binds her wrists the figure might be taken for an Eve, right from the hand of its Creator.  She is standing in an easy attitude, resting principally on the left limb, with the right slightly bent, her head turned toward the left shoulder, her right hand resting upon a small pillar, around which is folded embroidered drapery of most exquisite workmanship.  So perfect is the form, and so delicate the finish, you forget you are looking at cold and lifeless marble, and yet such a sentiment of purity and innocence is tamped upon it that you lose the impression that it is nude.  It is less a mortal than a spiritual body.  But I am not going to undertake to describe it." - Editor, Daily National Intelligencer, 30/8/1847


"Aware that the Slave's nudity might provoke disapproval on the part of a conservative American audience, Powers was careful to supplement his exhibition with texts stressing the subject's 'high moral and intellect beauty'." - National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.