26. Neptune

Ira Bruce Reines

Neptune, 1981, bronze

Anonymous gift

Collection of The Society of the Four Arts, 1981.3

American sculptor Ira Bruce Reines (1920–1995) was a self-taught artist who began making sculptures at the age of five. His diminutive statue of Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, is installed at the end of the Mary Nell and Ralph B. Rogers Fountain. A variant of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Neptune and Triton (1622–23), it is in the tradition of Italian Baroque sculpture. Neptune rises from the sea on a dolphin, clutching the trident with which he causes the earth to flood in revenge for an attempt on the life of Jupiter his brother (Ovid). Later in his career, Reines developed a style he coined “Sculptural Etherealism” in which he strove to capture the spiritual processes of awakening and enlightenment in his figures.