About This Artwork

Randolph Rogers
American, 1825-1892

The Lost Pleiade, 1874/75

H. 129.5 cm (51 in.)
Signed on base at back: "Randolph Rogers. Rome"

Gift of Mrs. E. S. Stickney, 1889.8

In creating this sculpture, Randolph Rogers was inspired by the Roman author Ovid’s poem Fasti, which recounts the legend of the seven sister stars who lived among the constellations. Merope, the youngest sister, married Sisyphus and hid herself in shame because he was mortal. The sculpture depicts the outcast Merope as she seeks her celestial family. With its unclothed torso, The Lost Pleiade is the closest Rogers came to creating a complete nude. Although a general audience would not have understood the reference to Fasti, the title nonetheless reassured Victorian viewers that this partially nude woman had literary antecedents and was thus not intended as an erotic image.

— Permanent collection label

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