Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)

Monument to The Burghers of Calais

1889

Plaster

H. 219.5 cm ; W. 266 cm ; D. 211.5 cm

S.153

The final version of the monument was completed in 1889 and unveiled in Calais in 1895.

 

Rodin had envisaged two possible designs for its installation: either on ground level so that the group would become “more familiar and [draw] the public into the aspect of misery and sacrifice,” (Rodin, 1893), or raised on a very high plinth, so that it would stand out against the sky.

 

The triumphal arch of the first maquette had been eliminated  and the six independent figures, showing their individual feelings, were united on the same base. Confronting their destiny and death, alone, they neither touch nor look at each other. Barefoot, clad only in tunics, with a rope around their necks, the condemned men begin their slow, mournful walk.

 

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