Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rodin in Israel

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For today's ABC Wednesday R is for Rodin.
The Google doodle appeared yesterday honoring  the artist's 172nd birthday.


 The Israel Museum is fortunate to have one of his Burghers of Calais standing in the long corridor.
Best to click once or twice to enlarge the photos. 


Here are the interesting things the Museum website tells about the statue:
Auguste Rodin , French, 1840–1917
Pierre de Wiessant, Large Model , 1885–86
Bronze, 214 x 116 x 118 cm
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The Burghers of Calais, Rodin’s first completed major public monument, commemorates an historical event that took place in 1347 during the Hundred Years’ War. The king of England, having besieged the city of Calais, agreed to free the inhabitants if six prominent citizens would surrender to him to be put to death. The six walked to the king’s camp wearing sackcloth and halters and carrying the keys to the city. At the last moment, the English king’s wife interceded on their behalf and saved their lives. 

Rodin portrays the six citizens as they are about to leave Calais. Each man expresses his own personal anguish. To heighten the dramatic impact, Rodin exaggerated the proportions of the hands and legs, and created strong contrasts of light and shadow. Rodin produced several hundred studies of the group, isolated figures, and parts of figures, recombining these elements until the six burghers became a cohesive unit. The individual figures were finished by 1888; yet it wasn’t until 1895 that the complete monument was unveiled in Calais. To Rodin’s dismay, the city council harshly criticized the work, as it was a depiction of human crisis rather than a heroic-patriotic statement.
 
Pierre de Wiessant is particularly impassioned. His bent head, furrowed brow, half-closed eyes, and parted lips express deep sorrow and apprehension. His enlarged, muscular limbs, and the dramatic gesture of his right hand amplify the emotional impact of the work and convey the burgher’s agony. Cloaked in the deeps folds of sackcloth, Pierre's twisted, elongated body and tragic face recall Gothic representations of Christ as the “Man of Sorrows.”
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15 comments:

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

Interesting story!

Eki Qushay said...

Indeed, it is an interesting story, Dina. I wouldn't have known about it if you had not posted it here. Thanks.

Karl Demetz said...

Beautiful statue and interesting story, Dina.

Karen said...

Amazing detail in Rodin's work.

Roger Owen Green said...

Did Rodin myself a bit ago, of a sort...

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

VP said...

A wonderful sculpture. I have seen three(and posted some) of the original groups and it is always good to see they are still going around...

Gattina said...

Rodin was an extraordinary sculputuror ! His statues look so very much alive !
Gattina
ABC Team

Oakland Daily Photo said...

All I can see is Anguish. There's a complete set of the figures in the park next to the Houses of Parliament in London. Until now I didn't know about the historical event behind the works.

Norma Ruttan said...

interesting bit! I love your Jerusalem photos and your sharing of events there. I'd love to follow you, but couldn't find where to do it.

Dina said...

Shalom Norma. Glad you visited Jerusalem Hills DP. There is something at the very bottom of my page: Subscribe to: Posts (Atom).
Maybe that will help you?
I prefer to add my favorite blogs to Blogger's Reading List so I get notified as soon as a new post is published.

Chubskulit Rose said...

What a beautiful statue.

Running Shoes
Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

ChrisJ said...

I would really like to take a history of art course but I find the longer I am retired the more I have to do. This is exquisite, and interestingly as I looked at it, I thought the hands were too large. My critical but I prefer to think, analytical, mind at work again. I should have known there would be a reason.

Black Jack's Carol said...

Now retired, I am just beginning to learn a little about some of the world's great artists. Of course, I knew about "The Thinker" but had no idea of the Burghers of Calais monuments. One feels the agony acutely and it was fascinating to learn some of the techniques Rodin used to portray emotion so vividly. Thank you!

Mama Pajama said...

it's an interesting piece...and plenty of art is somewhat controversial.

William Kendall said...

Thanks for the link!

Yes, I do know it well. I incorporated the statue into my manuscript with scenes at the museum.