The Age of Bronze
Auguste Rodin (French, 1840 - 1917)
1875 - 1876. Oil on canvas, 41 1/2". 1991.001.058
This half-size version of one of Auguste Rodin’s very popular early works demonstrates his highly individualized and revolutionary approach to sculpture. The approach is evident in the combination of a high degree of naturalism and the emotionally expressive pose and gestures. The surfaces of his work are sculpted to allow for the play of light and shadow to convey intensity and drama. Originally titled The Vanquished One, this figure commemorated France’s heroism and defeat in 1870 in the Franco-Prussian War. Eventually, Rodin changed the title to expand the interpretation of the work from a narrow patriotism to a more general idea of sorrow, struggle, and awakening.