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modeled 1866 William Henry Rinehart Born: Union Bridge, Maryland 1825 Died: Rome, Italy 1874 painted plaster 33 1/8 x 25 x 12 1/4 in. (84.2 x 63.5 x 31.0 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the Peabody Institute 1970.335.5 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 20A

Luce Center Label

William Henry Rinehart first conceived of this figure in 1858, when he began work on her companion piece Leander. Hero was a priestess of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Every evening, her lover, Leander, swam across the straits to be with her, guided by a lantern she held aloft. One night, a storm blew out her lamp and Leander drowned. In her anguish, Hero jumped into the sea to join him. Rinehart depicted the moment when Hero realizes that Leander is dead.


Mythology - classical - Hero

Object - other - lantern