Yesterday we showed you the work of art below and asked you to guess the artist who created it. Thousands of you guessed in our poll, but less than 20% of you correctly identified the artist. The sculpture is a copy of Michelangelo's Moses by Edmonia Lewis.
Lewis (1845 -1907) was an American sculptor who worked in the Neoclassical style. She was the daughter of a black father and Chippewa Indian mother. Throughout her life, Lewis faced racial and gender discrimination, and this struggle is present in her works.
For example, in Forever Free, created two years after the end of the Civil War, Lewis references the emancipation of slaves. In this work, she also undercuts the stereotype of black women as sexual objects by representing the fully-clothed female beside the partially dressed male.
For much of her career, Lewis was in Rome, where she first traveled in 1865. There, she was greatly influenced by the classical style of antique and Renaissance art. She was able to sell many works of art to tourists and commanded high prices for her works, including two $50,000 commissions in 1873.
Lewis is an incredible sculptor who overcame considerable adversity. To view more of her works, click through the slideshow below.