Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra

A work made of marble.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of marble.

Date:

modeled c. 1859; carved after 1859

Artist:

Harriet Hosmer
American, 1830–1908

About this artwork

Harriet Hosmer was the leader of a small group of women who studied sculpture in Rome in the 1850s. Her work frequently addresses the theme of strong, independent women who are ultimately punished for seeking a level of power and ambition thought to be inappropriate to their sex. This portrait depicts Zenobia, the queen of Palmyra, who ruled the Syrian city after her husband, Odenathus, died in A.D. 267. Zenobia conquered Egypt and much of Asia Minor before her defeat by the Roman emperor Aurelian in A.D. 272. Portraying the queen at the moment of her capture, Hosmer emphasized Zenobia’s dignity, remarking, “I have tried to make her too proud to exhibit passion or emotion of any kind; not subdued, though a prisoner; but calm, grand, and strong within herself.”

On View

American Art, Gallery 161

Artist

Harriet Hosmer

Title

Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra

Origin

United States

Date

1852–1862

Medium

Marble

Inscriptions

Inscribed on the back: "HARRIET HOSMER / FECIT ROMAE"

Dimensions

86.4 × 57.2 × 31.8 cm (34 × 22 1/2 × 12 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of the Antiquarian Society

Reference Number

1993.260

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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