Auguste Rodin’s sculpture, Jean de Fiennes, is one of six sculptures that make up The Burghers of Calais. Rodin chose to present ordinary men dressed in sackcloth with exaggerated facial expressions, elongated limbs, and heavily layered clothing. Not limited to just portraiture or figuration, the sculptor’s works attempted to convey emotion and narrative through an associative process, rather than a literal one.
The present version of Jean de Fiennes modeled at least two trial versions before being constructed as half-nude with a shirt draped from both his outstretched arms. This bronze sculpture owned by the University of Iowa is displayed on a low pedestal, almost at ground level. Despite being cast posthumously, this bronze work is considered an original creation by Auguste Rodin.
Jean de Fiennes was captain of the town of Calais during the Hundred Years War in 1347; multiple versions of modello for de Fiennes were created with different poses and clothing. There are several casts of Jean de Fiennes, having varying dates and locations including one currently on public view at the European Sculpture exhibit.
In summary, Auguste Rodin’s Jean De Fiennes “Drapped’ depicts a story related to war instead of being confined to its physical form alone. The version located in the University 0f Iowa can be seen on public display positioned close to ground level while variations can also be found within other museums depicting variant posing attire and regionality – all contributing collectively towards better understanding Auguste Rodins work showcasing emotional depth conveyed through unconventional methods.