The Gospel of John relates the story of a Samaritan woman who is asked by Jesus for a drink of water. After talking with him, she realizes that he is the Messiah. Rinehart represents the woman, standing with her water vase. A native of Maryland, the artist, with the financial help of William T. Walters, settled in Rome in 1858. There, he sculpted idealized figures as well as portraits of visiting Americans. He worked in a neoclassical style but was also influenced by the emerging naturalistic trends in sculpture.
Two large marbles of this subject were cut (the original order for William T. Walters and one for Governor Edward D. Morgan of New York in 1874) and eight reductions.