Danaid is a sculpture created by Auguste Rodin sometime between 1885-89, inspired by the Greek mythological story of the daughters of Danaus. The sculpture depicts an exhausted woman sitting on the ground beside her jar, with her clothes askew, revealing her nakedness in an erotic way. Initially meant to be part of The Gates of Hell, it was later excluded from the final version and showcased at Salon in 1890. Musée du Luxembourg purchased it after its exhibition.
Auguste Rodin is a renowned French sculptor credited as the founding father of modernist sculpture in the 19th century. His most famous work, The Thinker, has similarities to Michelangelo’s heroes and remains a significant landmark in Paris today. In his career span of more than five decades, Rodin produced numerous versions of his popular works that ensured his fame for generations.
While Danaid may be lesser-known among other works by Rodin like The Kiss or Monument to Balzac, it is no less expressive when studied closely. Its morphing shapes and twists convey exhaustion and strain while celebrating feminine beauty through nudity—for this reason; some view its sexual elements as controversial. Overall it can stand testament to one aspect of art: raising interesting conversations about societal norms around representations of humanity beyond clearly good or bad assessments by viewers and critics alike.