Statues & Busts
The sculpture in Belmont Mansion's collection is of four mediums: marble, bronze, parian, and terra cotta. Today, five works of sculpture in marble, all by American artists working in Rome, are considered the centerpieces of her collection: Ruth Gleaning, Sans Souci, Rebecca at the Well, The Sleeping Children, and The Peri. Known in the nineteenth century as "ideal" sculpture, today it is referred to as neoclassical due to Greek and Roman influences. The subject matter tells a story most often drawn from history, literature, the Bible or mythology.
Art collecting became fashionable for upper class Americans beginning in the third quarter of the 19th century. Individual buyers sought out "marbles" for their private collections. This trend brought great success to American sculptors working overseas.