William Morris Hunt first modeled this conception in 1848 when he was studying in Paris with Thomas Couture. He took his theme from ancient Persia. Anahita was the goddess of the moon and the night and represents the forces of darkness giving way to the coming of light. Hunt continued to investigate this subject in drawings and paintings for several decades, finally bringing it to fruition in 1878 when he was commissioned to create murals for the Assembly Chamber of the New York State Capitol in Albany. This sculpture became the study for the central detail of one of the two monumental murals that Hunt made for that space.