A Daughter of Eve – A Scene on the Shore of the Atlantic
John Bell (Hopton, Suffolk 1811 – Kensington 1895)
Art / Sculpture
1853 (plaster model, exh. RA) - 1862 (exh. London Internation Exhibition)
Bronze-patinated electrotype, silver and gold plate
1525 x 400 x 360 mm (60 1/16 x 15 3/4 x 14 3/16 in)
Place of origin
EnglandOrder this image
Cragside, Northumberland (Accredited Museum)
Bronze patinated electrotype with silver and gold plating, A Daughter of Eve – A Scene on the Shore of the Atlantic, John Bell (Hopton, Suffolk 1811 – Kensington 1895), 1862, the plaster model exh. RA 1853, inscribed on the base, to the right: JOHN. BELL SC. A full-size bronze patinated electrotype figure of an enslaved and manacled African woman, semi-nude, with tasselled drapery tied at the proper left hip and gold-plated hooped and beaded earrings. The woman turns to proper right, her eyes cast downwards, her arms drawn across her body to proper left, her hands clasped over her proper left thigh, and her wrists manacled with a silver-plated shackle. On a circular bronze base. The figure represents an enslaved woman standing on the shoreline of a West African country, probably on the Guinea Coast, about to be trafficked by ship across the Atlantic to North America. Bell's original title, A Daughter of Eve - A Scene on the Shore of the Atlantic, was changed to 'The American Slave' when the statue was shown at the 1862 London International Exhibition.
Commissioned/owned by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford (1800-1870) whose collection forms the core of the Wallace Collection, London; probably bought by Lord Armstrong (1810 - 1900) after 1870; transferred by the Treasury to The National Trust in 1977 via the National Land Fund, aided by 3rd Baron Armstrong of Bamburgh and Cragside (1919 - 1987).
Cragside, The Armstrong Collection (acquired through the National Land Fund and transferred to the National Trust in 1977)
Makers and roles
John Bell (Hopton, Suffolk 1811 – Kensington 1895), sculptor
Sculpture Victorious: Art in an Age of Invention, 1837–1901, Yale Center for British Art, Connecticut, 2014 - 2015, no.84 Sculpture Victorious: Art in an Age of Invention, 1837–1901, Tate Britain, London, 2014 - 2015, no.84
Sculpture Victorious Art in an Age of Invention, 1837 – 1901, exh. cat., Yale Center for British Art, September 11, 2014 – November 30, 2014 and Tate Britain, 25 February – 25 May 2015, fig. 3, p. 17 , cat. no. 84 Bell 1876 Doyne Bell, Catalogue of the Paintings, Sculpture and other Works of Art at Osborne, 1876 Barnes 1999 R. Barnes, John Bell. The Sculptor's Life and Works, Kirstead, 1999, no. 49 & p. 44 Bilbey and Trusted 2002 Diane Bilbey and Marjoire Trusted, British Sculpture 1470 to 2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 2002, 278, p. 196