A white marble statue of a young female figure, leaning forward holding a staff with eyes closed, her left hand held up to her right ear. A flowing, wind-swept garment drapes the figure. On the base to the left of the figure is a broken capital of a Corinthian column lying on its side.
Based on a character from Edward Bulwer-Lytton's popular 1834 novel, “The Last Days of Pompeii,” Nydia is a blind girl, who had been stolen and sold into slavery, and was bought by Glaucus, a Greek-born young man, to work in his garden in order to save her from the cruelty of her owner. Nydia mistook his act of kindness for fondness and fell passionately and uselessly in love with him, as he was in love with another woman. During the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, Nydia saves Glaucus and his lover and guides them toward the sea where they find safety aboard a ship. The next morning Nydia throws herself into the sea, as she realizes there is no hope for a future with Glaucus, and becomes a symbol of feminine sacrifice and fidelity.