A Statue of Sandow?

Sandow Statue

Eugen Sandow began his career as a vaudeville strongman to then create his own niche in on-stage physique displays, now known as bodybuilding. Proud of his developed physique and his ability to pose like a statue, Eugen Sandow made most of his money by flaunting his Greek ideal physique on stages, while adding, here and there, a handful of somersaults and lifts. In order to flaunt at the next level, Sandow decided to have a cast made of himself, his own statue if you will. Seeking to represent the long lost Greek statuary, Sandow desired his cast to be “a fitting monument to man’s ability to mold his own body.” Combining numerous sessions of posing for an extended time, combined with body oiling and building an outer shell of Sandow, the cast went through the process to being filled with plaster of Paris which acts as a quick setting plaster formula. Sandow mentioned that the process took a little over one month. Ready to be marveled by the world, the cast was displayed in the British Museum – it disappeared as quickly as it appeared. Sources say that the cast displayed unrealistic proportions, was highly asymmetrical, and was a misrepresentation. Using measurements conducted by Dudley Sargent, skeptical on-lookers could demonstrate the Sandow’s bicep was 2 inches bigger than his actual frame (actual bicep was 16”, statue was 18”) and his waist measured 36” while his actual self had a 32” waist. The Sandow cast was quickly concealed in the Museum storeroom with the other sad statues. So people say that Arnold Schwarzenegger purchased the Sandow cast several decades later. However, Sandow’s biographer, David Chapman, indicates that Sandow’s ‘statue’ remains disassembled in the storeroom.


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