Harriet HosmerHarriet Hosmer
American Sculpter
1830 – 1908 A.D.

Harriet Hosmer, an American sculptor, born in Watertown, MA. She early showed marked aptitude for modeling, and studied anatomy with her father, a physician, and afterwards at the St. Louis Medical College. She then studied in Boston until 1852, when, with her friend Charlotte Cushman, she went to Rome, where from 1853 – 1860 she was the pupil of the English sculptor, John Gibson. There she was associated with Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thorwaldsen, Flaxman, Thackerary, George Eliot and George Sand; and she was frequently the guest of the Brownings at Casa Guidi, in Florence.

Among her works are Daphne and Medusa, ideal heads; Puck, a spirited and graceful conception, which was esteemed so successful that thirty copies were ordered by various art collectors; Œnone, her first life-sized figure, now in the St. Louis Museum and her Beatrice Cenci in the library of the same city..

Her most ambitious work is a large statue of Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, in Chains, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Her bronze figure of Thomas H. Benton is in Lafayette Park, St. Louis, and the Sleeping Faun exhibited in Paris in 1867, is one of her best works. Her heroic statue of Queen Isabella of Castile was unveiled in San Francisco in 1894.

While a “Classist” in taste and training, she invented several technical processes in connection with her art.

Miss Hosmer lived in Rome until a few years before her death, and Hawthorne described her picturesquely in his Italian Notes, and in his Marble Faun.


Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.

Quote by Harriet Hosmer