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Bust of Proserpine

American Art

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Bust of Proserpine

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Hiram Powers
American, 1805–1873

Date

conceived 1843-1844; modeled after 1844

Medium

Marble

Accession #

2010.83

Dimensions

24 1/2 x 19 x 11 inches

Location

On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 3, Gallery 308

Description

An important figure in the Anglo-American community of Florence, Italy, Hiram Powers specialized in sculptures based on literature. Proserpine, one of his earliest efforts, represents the Roman goddess of spring. Pluto (god of the underworld) abducts the young Proserpine and holds her captive for several months each year. Her release to her mother marks the return of spring to the earth. Proserpine became the artist’s most popular bust, particularly favored by women. He produced three versions and more than one hundred copies of the subject.

Credit

Gift of the West Foundation in honor of Gudmund Vigtel and Michael E. Shapiro