Hiram Powers (1805–1873)

Faith, Hope, and Charity (A Set of Three Ideal Busts)

APG 20439D

c. 1866–67

Faith, modeled in 1866–67
Charity, modeled in 1867
Hope, modeled in 1866

Description

HIRAM POWERS (1805–1873)
Faith
Marble, 28 1/2 in. high
Signed and inscribed (on the rear underside of truncation): EXECUTED TO THE ORDER / OF MARSHALL WOODS ESQ / H POWERS / Sculp.
Modeled about 1866–67

Hope
Marble, 28 1/2 in. high
Signed and inscribed (on the rear underside of truncation): EXECUTED TO THE ORDER / OF MARSHALL WOODS ESQ / H POWERS / Sculp
Modeled in 1866

Charity
Marble, 28 1/2 in. high
Signed and inscribed (on the rear underside of truncation): H POWERS / Sculp
Modeled in 1867

EX COLL.: Marshall Woods, Providence, Rhode Island, 1871; James H. Ricau (1916–1993), Piermont, New York, until 1993; to his estate, 1993–2006; to [Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, 2006]; to private collection, 2006 until the present

In 1852, Providence, Rhode Island, businessman Marshall Woods (1824–1899) asked Powers to produce a pair of ideal busts of a subject not yet treated by the artist. At the same time, Woods also commissioned casts of his daughter’s and wife’s hands, and because of his wife’s frailty and illness, expressed that all of the works be sent to Woods’s home upon his return to America in 1854. Powers, however, never got around to modeling the two busts, and the order languished for many years until Woods again implored the sculptor to take up the commission in 1866. This time Woods gave Powers a more concrete idea, now suggesting a set of three busts depicting the three Heavenly Graces of Faith, Hope, and Charity. To this request Powers happily acceded, and he set to work immediately on the commission. This set of the three graces is the original group commissioned by Woods and delivered to him between 1868–71.

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