Monument to The Burghers of Calais

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    Monument to The Burghers of Calais

    Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)

    This monument, commissioned to Rodin in 1884 by the city of Calais, celebrates the collective sacrifice of six notables who went to hand over the keys of the city to the victorious King of England at the end of the siege of 1346-47 during the Hundred Years' War. The six characters are individualized, united on the same base, but independent. Alone facing their destiny and death, they do not look at each other, do not touch. Simply dressed in a tunic, with a rope around their necks and bare feet, the condemned men begin their slow funeral march. Rodin gives each figure, studied naked before being draped in the condemned man's tunic, a particular gesture and movement - from despair to abandonment, from confidence to resignation.

    The monument, completed in 1889, was installed in 1895 in the square of the town hall in Calais, without however respecting Rodin's wish that it be presented very high up - so that the figures would stand out against the sky - or on the ground, "right on the flagstones of the square, like a living string of suffering and sacrifice" (Rodin).

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    Date of conception :

    Bronze, 1889; bronze sand casting 1926

    Dimensions :

    H. : 217 cm ; W. : 255 cm ; D. : 197 cm

    Materials :

    Bronze

    Inventory number :

    S.00450

    Credits :

    © Photographic Agency of musée Rodin - Jérome Manoukian

    Resources

    Iconography

    • Monument to The Burghers of Calais(zip, 3013.9 ko)