Monday, January 29, 2018

Star of David on The Libyan Sibyl

  • Creator
  • William Wetmore Story, born Salem, MA 1819-died Vallombrosa, Italy 1895
  • Created Date
  • modeled 1861, carved 1868
  • Description
  • A sybil was an ancient prophetic priestess who guarded her writings that foretold the future. The emblem on this sybil's necklace is an ancient symbol indicating her mystical powers, though today it is commonly associated with the Jewish Star of David, and with Exodus, and the escape of the Jewish people from slavery. The Libyan Sybil sits contemplating the fate of the African people, after reading the scroll she holds in her left hand. William Wetmore Story conceived this sculpture after the onset of the Civil War, and his letters confirm that he intended it to be a symbolic condemnation of African American slavery: "She is looking out of her black eyes into futurity and sees the terrible fate of her race. This is the theme of the figure--Slavery on the horizon.

  • Source:
    [Digital Public Library of America]