In 1845, Joseph Mozier gave up a successful career as a merchant and moved to Rome, where he sculpted literary, biblical, and mythological subjects. His images of idealized women in flowing robes were greatly influenced by classical Roman sculpture and by his mentor, Hiram Powers, another American abroad and one of the most important sculptors of the nineteenth century. During this time, many Americans traveled to Italy to see its ancient masterpieces. Nathaniel Hawthorne,author ofThe Scarlet Letter andThe House of the Seven Gables, visited Moziers studio in Rome in 1858. He praised his fellow New Englander as a“sensible, shrewd, keen, clever … ingenious workman … with tact enough, and not destitute of taste” (Hawthorne, Passages from the French and Italian Note-Books, 1858).