Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"Sleeping Children" Sculpture Evokes Tears

Every so often in life, one comes across something so beautiful that it remains forever in the human heart.

While touring the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, a few weeks ago, I saw an exquisite sculpture .

Honestly, I couldn't take my eyes of the the two utterly adorable "Sleeping Children."

It was by an American sculptor, William Henry Rinehart (1825-1874). 

The features of the two precious urchins were utterly priceless and painstakingly executed. 

Wrapped almost in an embrace, even the chubby little hands looked so real.

Their curly hair was perfectly formed.

Unfamiliar with Mr Rinehart's work, I enjoyed finding out more about him, thanks to numerous Internet sites.

I read that he was born in Maryland and worked on his father's farm.  He also became an assistant to a stone cutter and eventually continued his studies in Florence, Italy.

He was an extremely successful sculptor and completed numerous commissions for wealthy clients, according to sources.

He settled permanently in Italy, died of malaria at 49 years of age and is buried in Greenmount Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland.

 The first version  of  "Sleeping Children"  was commissioned as a gravesite memorial for two young children of  the Hugh Sisson family. 

Mr. Sisson was a friend and Baltimore patron of the sculptor.

Seeing the sculpture  made tears come to my eyes. 

Just thinking about it gives me the chills. 

It also saddens me to think of children dying due to diseases of that time in history.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum website stated that Mr. Rinehart used living sleeping children as models to create his work of art.

There are at least 25 replicas of the "Sleeping Children," in plaster and marble, according to Wikipedia.

A plaque on the side of the  one in the Hartford art museum stated it was a gift of Lucius A. Barbour.



Sailorchronos said...

I admit that it has been a long time since I've been to a museum but I have a great respect for those who chose to work in stone and create such lifelike masterpieces.

Gina @ VictorianWannaBe said...

Oh my gosh Susan, that reminds me of a cemetery stone that I shared in this post, http://victorianwannab.blogspot.com/2013/07/historic-illinois-town.html
Look at it and tell me what you think. Due to age and the elements it is kind of hard to see but it was so very sweet and sad.

Marta said...

Hello from Spain: there are very real sculptures. I like sculptures that reflect the perfection of the human body. Greek sculptures are my favorite. These kids are adorable. Keep in touch

Linda O'Connell said...

Simply exquisite. You find the most interesting things to blog about.

Barbara Neubeck said...

..Susan, this sculpture is wonderful. I love it.
Thank you for your visits my Friend... you are so kind.. Hugs and Blessings..
Barb xxx

Rebecca said...

Yes, Susan! I DO find sculpture extremely fascinating - and this one really IS "soft" & sweet, isn't it?

Terri Tiffany said...

I always know when I come to your blog I will see something lovely:) The first real statues that captured my attention were in Paris. But I think I like this one of the children more,

diane.stetson said...

When I was in Florence, Italy I saw many sculptures. I wasn't familiar with this American sculpture though. Very interesting. I always learn something new when I read your blog!

Valerie said...

Oh how lovely! And what a touching story to go with it. This makes me think about my own children...no night has ever been complete, without taking one last look at their sweet sleeping faces before turning in for the day. Blessings and Sunshine, Valerie

Dee said...

A wonderful sculpture...your photo of it is wonderful...I can only imagine how great it looks in person...I can see how you would be evoked to tears. I admire people who sculpt...it takes a rare talent to see three dementional.

Musings, Tea, and Me said...

Hi Susan, This is a beautiful sculpture! I do enjoy viewing sculpture and especially love the realism in this one....amazing! I also like the way you gave the background of the sculptor. I enjoy all of your blogs but this one is on a remarkable subject! Vickie

La Tea Dah said...

Oh, how beautiful --- and so sad.

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