Larger Type
Smaller Type

Search Collections

Proserpine

carved after 1873 Hiram Powers Born: Woodstock, Vermont 1805 Died: Florence, Italy 1873 marble 23 7/8 x 21 x 12 in. (60.6 x 53.3 x 30.5 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase in memory of Ralph Cross Johnson 1968.155.68 Not currently on view


Luce Center Label

Proserpine (or Persephone) is a character from Greek mythology who was forced to spend part of every year in the underworld. Her absence from the earth was believed to cause winter, while her return brought spring. Hiram Powers modeled the original bust of Proserpine to include an elaborate woven basket filled with flowers. This proved too time-consuming and expensive to carve, however, and it was changed to a simple arrangement of acanthus leaves. Proserpine was replicated more than any other work produced by an American sculptor during the nineteenth century, and Powers’s studio carved more than three hundred copies.

Keywords

Mythology - classical - Proserpine

Study - sculpture model

sculpture

stone - marble

About Hiram Powers

Born: Woodstock, Vermont 1805 Died: Florence, Italy 1873

More works in the collection by
Hiram Powers

Online Exhibitions