Rinehart, a native of Union Bridge, Maryland, first worked in Baltimore as a stone-cutter on the site of the Peabody Institute, on Charles and Monument Streets. He made an initial trip to Italy in 1855. Three years later, with William T. Walters' financial support, he returned and opened a permanent studio in Rome where he specialized in portrait busts of visiting Americans. Walters remained his principal patron and life-long friend.
William Walters commissioned "Love Reconciled with Death" as a tomb monument for his wife Ellen, who died in London in 1862 at the age of 40. This plaster was used in preparing the bronze figure of a woman strewing flowers that was placed above Ellen's grave in 1867. Rinehart's niece recorded that her uncle regarded this work as "the saddest, but sweetest duty he ever had to perform."