The Fallen Caryatid With Urn (c. 1883) by Auguste Rodin

The Fallen Caryatid With Urn - Auguste Rodin - c. 1883

Artwork Information

TitleThe Fallen Caryatid With Urn
ArtistAuguste Rodin
Datec. 1883
Dimensions15 5/8 x 10 1/4 x 10 1/4 in. (39.7 x 26.0 x 26.0 cm)
Current LocationMusee Rodin, Paris

About The Fallen Caryatid With Urn

Auguste Rodin’s The Fallen Caryatid Carrying an Urn, created around 1883, is considered one of his best compositions. This sculpture depicts a female figure carrying a burden and collapsing under its weight. Rodin incorporated the caryatid, an ancient Greek sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support, into his work by stripping the body of clothing and depicting it crushed under the weight of a stone. The sculpture symbolically suggests physical suffering or emotional anguish.

The Fallen Caryatid was first exhibited as a standalone piece in 1883 and was part of Rodin’s lifelong work, The Gates of Hell. This gate included a large number of figures in relief intended for display in front of the Musée des arts décoratifs in Paris. The sculpture was positioned in the upper left corner and personifies despondency, disillusionment, sadness, and despair. It was also reworked into multiple versions in marble and bronze as standalone sculptures.

Rodin’s portrayal may have been inspired by personal events such as his father’s illness and death or societal ones like France’s agricultural depression during that time period. Nonetheless, what makes this statue memorable is its ability to project emotions from simple postures rather than details-rich composition – making it universal that one can experience empathy regardless of culture or language.

Overall, Auguste Rodin’s portrayal provides poignant commentary on human suffering through its use of classical references combined with modern innovation whilst adapting to changing social contexts — how artistry can transform ancient concepts into relatable expressions across time periods evident both aesthetically & emotionally.

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