Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)
Eustache de Saint-Pierre, Nude Study
H. 98 cm ; W. 34 cm ; D. 36.5 cm
Cast made by Georges Rudier in 1964 for the museum collections.
Eustache de Saint-Pierre was regarded as the core figure in the group of six condemned men, the oldest but also the first to risk his life by volunteering to go and hand over the keys of Calais to the victorious King of England. Here, he is represented naked, as was Rodin’s usual practice before clothing his figures, half the actual size, with emaciated face and wasted body. The lively, energetic modelling accentuates the work’s dramatic character,with his veins seeming to protrude from under the skin, his large knotty joints still strong. Lifting his right foot, Eustache de Saint-Pierre seems about to embark upon his heroic march.
In its energetic handling, quasi-flayed appearance, verticality and, to a lesser extent, its immobility, this figure seems to herald Alberto Giacometti’s Walking Man. It has retained its autonomy and individuality, even though it was designed to be inserted in a group.