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The Three Shades
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)
In Dante’s Divine Comedy, the shades (the souls of the damned) stood at the entrance to Hell, pointing to an unequivocal inscription: “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.” Rodin made several studies of Shades, eventually assembling three identical figures that seem to be circling the same spot. He placed them on top of The Gates of Hell, towering over the viewers below, then had them enlarged as a monumental group in their own right.
As with the figure of Adam, whose tortured pose is mirrored in The Three Shades, Michelangelo’s influence is evident here. The exaggerated slope of the heads almost joins the figures’ necks and shoulders in a single horizontal line. Through anatomical distortions of this kind, Rodin achieved an expressive force that was unrivaled in his day.
The artwork in the museum
Permanent collections - Ground floor, room 5
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Date of conception :
H. 97 ; W. 91,3 ; D. 54,3 cm
Bronze, sand-cast by Alexis Rudier, 1928
Inventory number :
© Photographic agency of musée Rodin - Jérome Manoukian
- The Three Shades(zip, 977.6 ko)