Erastus Dow Palmer (American, Pompey, New York 1817–1904 Albany, New York)
1855; carved 1861
16 1/2 x 16 1/4 in. (41.9 x 41.3 cm)
Gift of Clevepak Corporation, 1986
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 736
Palmer depicted the Greek lyric poetess Sappho "as she stands contemplating vacancy, with her hair and drapery moved by the sighing winds of Lesbos, and a heart overflowing with grief from neglected love." Although it may be difficult today to identify Sappho, contemporary viewers, more of whom were familiar with classical literature, would have recognized her.