First Prayer

Joseph A. Bailly

This companion piece to Bailly’s Paradise Lost (also in the Academy’s collection) represents Eve with her children Cain and Abel. The figure of Eve bears identical, distinctly classical features in each sculpture, suggesting that Bailly used the same model for both. Here she bows her head as if trying to impart her knowledge of the power of God to her small children. The highly polished marble and the intricate patterns of the hair, fleece, and rock are typical of marble sculpture of the mid-nineteenth century. Following a technique popularized by Jean Antoine Houdon, Bailly retained a speck of marble in the eyes of the figures in order to give them a lifelike sparkle.
Date of Birth
(1825-1883)
Date
1864-68
Medium
Marble
Dimensions
57 1/2 x 29 x 33 in. (146.05 x 73.66 x 83.82 cm.)
Accession #
1892.6.3
Credit Line
Bequest of Henry C. Gibson
Category
Subject
On View
Yes
On Loan
No