Nydia, the Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii
36 x 17 11/16 x 25 in. (91.5 x 45 x 63.5 cm)
(Waterloo, NY, 1825 - 1892, Rome, Italy)
Medium and Support:
Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Location: Currently on view
Nydia, the blind heroine of Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s 1834 novel The Last Days of Pompeii, was the subject of over 50 sculptures by Randolph Rogers. He depicted her, a broken column at her feet, as she used her heightened sense of hearing to listen for Glaucus, the nobleman whom she loved, and his fiancée, Ione. Although Nydia led them to safety, in the end she drowned herself because Glaucus could not be hers.
Nineteenth century collectors were fascinated by classical subjects like Pompeii. Many American collectors on the Grand Tour made trips to Italy, where they visited the studios of artists like Rogers and actively commissioned work. At left is a picture of MAG’s Nydia in an earlier collection in the home of Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Chapin, 110 South Fitzhugh Street, Rochester. [Gallery Label, February 6, 2012]