Analysis of the sculpture of Leander by William Henry Rinehart

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Leander is the name of a sculpture by William Henry Rinehart that represents a young male of between 20 to 25 years of age. He is very good looking, athletic and slender. In fact, his proportions appear to be perfect. His manner is delicate, neither overly masculine nor boyish, but at the same time confident…

Introduction


His facial expression is peaceful but, at the same time, thoughtful and distracted. His head is not raised and, consequently, he does not look directly at the observer but gazes into the horizon. The purity, grace and proportion of the figure are greatly enhanced by the quality and color of the medium chosen to execute it: pure white marble.
For the spectator, the main reaction after observation of the sculpture is probably one of awe and admiration for the technical skills and artistic proficiency of the author, who manages to capture with great expertise the perfection of the male human body. The work of art of choice is exquisite, a piece of extraordinary beauty.
Looking at this sculpture immediately brings to mind the famous sculpture of David by Michelangelo, one of the best known works of art of the Renaissance, which Rinehart knew from his stay in Florence between 1855 and 1857. Rinehart, like Michelangelo with David, in his representation of Leander has provided the observer with a great illustration of the perfect male human form. One of the greatest differences between David and Leander makes itself evident when one looks at the two heroes in the face: while David shows fear, tension and aggression in his facial expression, Leander looks relaxed, pensive and meditative. The tension in David's face is believed to be due to the fact that he was about to confront Goliath in battle. ...
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