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Eve Tempted

modeled 1842 Hiram Powers Born: Woodstock, Vermont 1805 Died: Florence, Italy 1873 plaster 70 1/4 x 22 1/8 x 21 1/2 in. (178.4 x 56.2 x 54.6 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase in memory of Ralph Cross Johnson 1968.155.7 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 18A

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Eve Tempted

Luce Center Quote

“. . . as for her nudity---she does not appear to know that she is so.” The artist, quoted in April Kingsley, Hiram Powers’ Paradise Lost, Exhibition Catalogue, 1985

Luce Center Label

Eve Tempted was Hiram Powers’s first full-length ideal statue. It shows Eve contemplating an apple in her hand while a serpent lingers at her side. American audiences in the nineteenth century felt that statues and paintings of nude figures were scandalous, but Powers maintained that “clothing would be preposterous, for [Eve] was naked only after she had fallen.” Her pensive expression anticipates the consequences of her actions, which the artist described in his later piece, Eve Disconsolate.


Animal - reptile - snake

Religion - Old Testament - Eve

Religion - Old Testament - Genesis

State of being - evil - temptation

Study - sculpture model