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Orpheus (Orphée)

European Art

On View: Robert E. Blum Gallery, 1st floor
Auguste Rodin’s Orpheus illustrates a story of gods and heroes from classical mythology. The contorted figure of the Greek poet and musician holds his lyre and reaches out for his wife, Eurydice. According to the myth, Orpheus descended into the underworld after Eurydice died to try to regain her through the power of his music. Returning with her to the upper world, he was unable to restrain his passion and glanced back at her too soon, ignoring one of the conditions set by the gods, and lost Eurydice again.

Orpheus’s descent into the underworld to save Eurydice parallels Christ’s Descent into Limbo, when he saved the righteous.
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES 1908, cast 1980
    DIMENSIONS 57 1/2 x 30 x 49 1/4 in. (146.1 x 76.2 x 125.1 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Back, proper right: "E. GODARD FOND." Base, proper right: "© by Musée Rodin 1980"
    SIGNATURE Base, proper left: "A. Rodin"
    INSCRIPTIONS Base, proper left: "No 7"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Robert E. Blum Gallery, 1st floor
    EDITION Edition: 7/12
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917). Orpheus (Orphée), 1908, cast 1980. Bronze, 57 1/2 x 30 x 49 1/4 in. (146.1 x 76.2 x 125.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, 84.75.3. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 84.75.3_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 84.75.3_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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