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The Prodigal Son
Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)
Cast made for the museum’s collection by the Alexis Rudier foundry in 1942.
Taut as a bow string, this male figure was originally part of the group called Ugolino and His Sons that Rodin created for The Gates of Hell. The head and torso of one of Ugolino’s sons―previously used for the male figure in the group Fugit Amor―were reworked here, assembled with different legs. This way of composing new works from pre-existing fragments was central to Rodin’s creative process; indeed, he began to spend less time modeling new sculptures and more time assembling existing pieces.
In its enlarged form, the work gained a dramatic intensity befitting its subject―the biblical parable of the prodigal son, who threw himself at his father’s feet to beg forgiveness for his past ingratitude. By accentuating certain details, such as the hands, and positioning the figure in an unbalanced pose, Rodin endowed this tormented figure with the fervor of a final prayer
The artwork in the museum
Permanent collections – ground floor, Room 5
We cannot guarantee the presence of all our artworks; some may be out on loan.
Date of conception :
H. 138 cm ; W. 87 cm ; D. 75 cm
Inventory number :
© Photographic Agency of musée Rodin - Jérome Manoukian
- The Prodigal Son(zip, 1208.4 ko)