The Greek Slave, by Hiram Powers
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Southworth & Hawes
American, 1848
3 1/4 x 2 9/16 in.

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Hiram Powers's sculpture of a completely nude and very shapely woman was the subject of great controversy when it was created in 1848. He attempted to circumvent criticism of her nudity by casting her as a Christian martyr captured by heathen Turks and sold as a slave.

Isolating the sculpture with exquisite lighting and perfect viewpoint, Southworth and Hawes harnessed the erotic marbled splendor of the sculpture, transforming stone to supple flesh with careful modulation and selective rendering.