Great Artworks

Latona and Her Children

Latona and Her Children
Latona and Her Children, Apollo and Diana
William Henry Rinehart (American, Union Bridge, Maryland 1825–1874 Rome)
1870; carved 1874
In his interpretations of ancient myths and legends, Rinehart, who was based in Rome, avoided the extraneous detail and emotionalism favored by other American expatriate sculptors. Here, Latona (Leto in Greek), goddess of darkness, is seated beside the sleeping Apollo and Diana (Artemis), the twin children she had by Jupiter (Zeus). The goddess looks down with tranquil affection upon the putti-like infants, later to become, respectively, the god of light and the sun and the goddess of the moon and the hunt. A restrained classicism is also evident in Latona’s facial features, simplified hair pattern, and archaeologically precise clothing and sandals.