Horatio Greenough

Hiram Powers met the American sculptor Horatio Greenough in 1836, shortly before Greenough settled in Florence, Italy, with his wife. The two men became close friends, and in 1838, Powers modeled this bust of the thirty-three-year-old artist. As a child, Greenough had experimented with sculpture in alabaster and clay until a local stonecutter taught him how to carve in marble. But his father opposed a career in art, and Greenough attended Harvard for four years before he was able to travel to Rome to study sculpture. In 1832 he became one of the first American artists to receive a national commission when Congress asked him to create a sculpture of George Washington for the United States Capitol. The statue is now in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Greenough must have been an inspiration to Powers, who was the same age and following a similar career path, and in this bust the strong features and confident expression evoke a young, successful man who was proud of his early achievements.

Mr. Powers … is making an admirable bust of me.” Greenough, quoted in Letters of Horatio Greenough to His Brother, Henry Greenough, 1887

Horatio Greenough
modeled 1838
21 3814 1410 14 in. ( cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase in memory of Ralph Cross Johnson

Mediums Description
  • Study – sculpture model
  • Portrait male – Greenough, Horatio – bust
  • Occupation – art – sculptor
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

More Artworks from the Collection