Eve Tempted

  • Hiram Powers, Eve Tempted, modeled 1842, plaster, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase in memory of Ralph Cross Johnson, 1968.155.7

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.

Luce Object 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

Eve Tempted
modeled 1842
On View
70 1/4 x 22 1/8 x 21 1/2 in. (178.4 x 56.2 x 54.6 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase in memory of Ralph Cross Johnson

Mediums Description
  • Animal – reptile – snake
  • State of being – evil – temptation
  • Religion – Old Testament – Eve
  • Religion – Old Testament – Genesis
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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