Exhibitions: Rodin: The Cantor Gift to the Brooklyn Museum

Auguste Rodin: Pierre de Wiessant, Monumental Nude

Pierre de Wiessant was one of the heroic citizens of Calais who offered their own lives to spare the destruction of the city by the English army. For the monumental group The Burghers of Calais, Rodin first made nude figure studies, which he then draped in wet canvas to model the sackcloth worn by the burghers when they surrendered. To create the most expressive figures possible, he used the radical technique of combining studies of hands and feet from different figures. Creating the very antithesis of conventional heroic sculpture, Rodin here set out the terms of a modern, anti-monumental tradition that resonates to this day.