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This is one of Rodin's most
complicated and intriguing sculptures. Not quite as famous as "The
Thinker" or "The Kiss," but the history and story behind the sculpture make it a
very interesting sculpture for display in any art collection.
This sculpture measures 26" tall x 27" wide.
It can be done in the Verdi green patina as shown or in a classic brown.
In 1884 Rodin submitted a maquette
for a competition in Calais, France to erect a monument in honor of a local
hero, Eustache de Saint-Pierre. This hero was part of a dramatic event that
occurred in Calais in 1347, during the Hundred Years War. Six leading citizens
of Calais volunteered themselves as hostages to the English king Edward III in
exchange for his lifting an eleven-month siege on their city. Eustache de
Saint-Pierre was the first of six brave citizens to surrender. Rodin was greatly
moved by the power of the story and offered to depict all six men for a modest
sum. He began by studying the history surrounding the event as well as other
artistic depictions of the burghers.
The monument was proposed by the mayor of Calais
for the town's square in 1880. Rodin's design was controversial, as it did
not present the burghers in a heroic manner, rather they appeared sullen and
worn. The monument was innovative in that it presented the burghers at the same
level as the viewers, rather than on a traditional pedestal, although until 1924
the city council of Calais, against Rodin's wishes, displayed the statue on an
Additional resources related to this sculpture:
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