The Somnambula

  • Randolph Rogers, The Somnambula, modeled 1863-1864, marble, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Fortunato Porotto, 1962.11.2

Luce Center Label

In 1855-56, Randolph Rogers first conceived of The Somnambula as a partner piece to his popular statue Nydia. The Somnambula, or "the sleepwalker," relates to Somnus, the Roman god of sleep, but Rogers probably based this figure on Vincenzo Bellini's popular nineteenth-century opera La Sonnambula. The heroine of the opera, Amina, sleepwalks into the room of another man, whom she mistakes for her fiancé Elvino. In a jealous rage, Elvino accuses her of having a lover, who, to no avail, pleads with him that they are not in love, but that she is a "sleepwalker." Elvino realizes his mistake when Amina, lamp in her hand, sleepwalks across a bridge and almost falls, but is awakened and rescued.

The Somnambula
modeled 1863-1864
On View
47 1/8 x 15 7/8 x 20 1/8 in. (119.8 x 40.2 x 51.0 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Fortunato Porotto

Mediums Description
  • Literature – Donizetti – Somnambula
  • State of being – other – sleep
  • Figure female – full length
  • Figure female – nude
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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