Eve Tempted (detail)
modeled 1839-1842, carved 1873-1877
Photographed in the Renwick Gallery prior to it's relocation to the National Portrait Gallery in 2006.
"the nude statue should be an unveiled soul." - Hiram Powers
In 1842 Hiram Powers had produced his first idealized female nude, Eve Tempted. The choice of subject permitted nudity without offending Victorian morality. The purity of the marble, from Seravezza—a quarry about eighteen miles from Carrara, Italy—lent itself to spiritual idealism, while its quasi-flesh tone (as the sculptor saw it) together with Powers's careful simulation of skin texture conjured a physical reality.