IVES, Chauncey Bradley
(b. 1810, Hamden, Connecticut, d. 1894, Roma)
Marble, height 95 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
In the United States, as in France, Neoclassicism benefited from the political situation: it helped to bolster the regime by suggesting kinship between it and the Roman Republic of antiquity. Two generations of sculptors took up residence in Italy, first in Florence, to which they were attracted by Lorenzo Bartolini, and subsequently, after Bartolini's death, in Rome. They included, among others, Chauncey Bradley Ives, Hiram Powers, and Randolph Rogers, all for either Philadelphia or Boston, the two cities that vied with each other for the title of the "Athens of America."
Ives, having arrived in Florence in 1844, left ion 1851 for Rome, where he died. His Pandora, sculpted soon after his arrival in Rome, was an immediate success. The subject was a popular one among an Anglo-Saxon public with a tendency to moralize, suggesting as it did the presence, behind an appearance of innocent beauty, of a mind cursed with curiosity. The piece testifies to its author's admiration for Canova.
Pandora was to be reproduced many times, nineteen at least life-sized or half life-sized marbles having been manufactured by 1891.