Hiram Powers made "Eve Disconsolate" as a companion to his earlier "Eve Tempted" (designed 1842; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.). For his new sculpture, Powers planned to show Eve after the Fall—in his words (from a letter to Edward Everett), with “her face raised to Heaven with an expression of deep contrition; one hand upon her breast, the other pointing down to the serpent, who recoils at her feet as if sensible to the accusation.” The biblical subject afforded Powers an occasion for heightened emotional expression. It also for a nude female subject safely within the norms of nineteenth-century American society.

Powers intended this version of "Eve Disconsolate" (one of two) as a tribute to his beloved Cincinnati patron, Nicholas Longworth, who had died in 1863. Nevertheless, when Powers died ten years later the marble remained only half carved in his studio. It was completed by his master carvers and shipped to Longworth’s grandson, Nicholas Longworth II, who donated it to the Art Museum.

Hiram Powers began his career as an apprentice to Luman Watson, a clock and organ maker, where he displayed a great talent in mechanical techniques. It was only after seeing a cast of French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon’s bust of George Washington that he began to develop an interest in sculpture.


  • Title: Eve Disconsolate
  • Creator: Hiram Powers (American, b.1805, d.1873)
  • Date: 1858/1877
  • Date Created: Designed 1858-1860, Carved 1872-1877
  • Location Created: Florence, Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 78 1/16 x 22 5/8 x 25 15/16 in. (198.2 x 57.5 x 65.9 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Nicholas Longworth
  • Alternate Title: Paradise Lost
  • Accession Number: 1888.86
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Medium: marble

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