The Danaid, first sculpted in 1885 as part of The Gates of Hell, is huddled up in a pose typical of suffering.
In 1889, after being enlarged and cut in marble, it was given its title, inspired by Greek mythology. According to this legend, the fifty daughters of Danaus were condemned to fill a bottomless barrel with water for having slit the throats of their husbands on their wedding night, on the orders of their father.
In this sculpture, Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) portrays the despair of one of them who falls prostrate to the ground when she realizes the futility of her task. The success of this figure encouraged Rodin to make many examples in bronze and in marble.
Rainer-Maria Rilkea was moved to write,
One experiences a marvelous impression just from walking around this marble, the long, very long way around the curve of this richly unfurled back, towards the face which loses itself in the stone like a mighty sob, towards the hand which, like a final flower, speaks one last time of the sweetness life, at the core of this eternal block of ice.
Reproduction in hand patinated resin
- H. 24 L. 45 P. 25 cm
H. 9.45" W. 17.72" D. 9.84" - 26.5 lbs
- Circa 1885
- Material of the original
- Bronze and marble
- Aix-les-Bains - Musée du Dr Jean Faure
- Woman, Nude
- Resin bronze patina
- Art movement
- 19th century
- Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)