Mary Edmonia Lewis, "Wildfire" (c. July 4, 1844 – September 17, 1907), was an American sculptor, of mixed African American and Native American (Ojibwe) heritage. Born free in Upstate New York, she worked for most of her career in Rome, Italy. She was the first African-American sculptor to achieve national and then international prominence.She began to gain prominence in the United States during the Civil War; at the end of the 19th century, she remained the only Black woman artist who had participated in and been recognized to any extent by the American artistic mainstream. In 2002, the scholar Molefi Kete Asante named Edmonia Lewis on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans. Her work is known for incorporating themes relating to Black people and indigenous peoples of the Americas into Neoclassical-style sculpture. The success and popularity of these works in Boston allowed Lewis to bear the cost of a trip to Rome in 1866. On her 1865 passport is written, "M. Edmonia Lewis is a Black girl sent by subscription to Italy having displayed great talents as a sculptor". The established sculptor Hiram Powers gave her space to work in his studio. She entered a circle of expatriate artists and established her own space within the former studio of 18th-century Italian sculptor Antonio Canova. She received professional support from both Charlotte Cushman, a Boston actress and a pivotal figure for expatriate sculptors in Rome, and Maria Weston Chapman, a dedicated worker for the anti-slavery cause. Lewis spent most of her adult career in Rome, where Italy's less pronounced racism allowed increased opportunity to a black artist. There Lewis enjoyed more social, spiritual, and artistic freedom than what she had had in the United States.
Béatrice Muthelet – alto, Clément Noel – oboe, Anne-Elsa Tremoulet – violin, Jerome Le Franc – cello