Caught between two worlds, the girl on the right must choose between her Euro-American mother and her Native American husband. This conflict of cultures, seen here within a colonial-era story, became especially powerful in the 1800s. Many would have sympathized with the decision of the girl, kidnapped as a child, to remain with her new family. They also would have admired the warrior’s handsome body, modeled after ancient Greek statues, and associated him with the land, believing such “noble savages” had valuable lessons to teach their more “civilized” neighbors.



  • Title: The Willing Captive
  • Creator: Chauncey Bradley Ives
  • Date Created: modeled circa 1862-1868, carved in 1871
  • Location Created: Italy
  • Provenance: Peter C. Cornell, Brooklyn, N.Y.; ...; West African missionaries, Pearl River, N.J.; James H. Ricau, Piermont, N.Y., by ca. 1983; Gift of James H. Ricau and Chrysler Museum of Art Purchase, 1986.
  • Physical Dimensions: 73 x 64 3/8 x 27 5/8 in. (185.4 x 163.5 x 70.2 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of James H. Ricau and Museum purchase
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Medium: Marble

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