Eugen Sandow

1867 - 1925

Sandow was already a great admirer of Greek and Roman statues of gladiators and mythical heroes when his father took him to Italy as a boy. By the time he was 19, he was already performing strongman stunts in side shows. The legendary Florenz Ziegfeld saw the young strongman and hired him for his carnival show. He soon found that the audience was far more fascinated by Sandows' bulging muscles than by the amount of weight he was lifting, so Ziegfeld had Sandow perform poses which he dubbed "muscle display performances." The legendary strongman added these displays in addition to performing his feats of strength with barbells. He also added chain-around-the-chest breaking and other colorful displays to Sandows routine. Sandow quickly became a sensation and Ziegfeld's first star.Sandow's resemblance to the physiques found on classic Greek and Roman sculpture was no accident. He actually measured the marble artworks in museums and helped to develope "The Grecian Ideal" as a formula for th

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