The Sonnambula

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The Sonnambula is a marble sculpture by American neoclassical sculptor Randolph Rogers (1825-1892). The work’s source of inspiration, modeled in the years 1863 and 1864, is not sure. Some critics claim it represents Somnus, the Roman god of sleep, but others argue it was inspired by the very popular opera of the nineteenth century, La Sonnambula by Vincenzo Bellini. The heroine of this opera, Amina, suffers from sleepwalking, walking asleep to the room of a man other than her fiancé Elvino. The later accuses Amina of having a lover and only forgives her when he sees her with a lamp in her hand, walking dangerously asleep on the edge of a bridge. Amina almost falls, but is awakened and saved by Elvino.