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.
1908, cast 1980
57 1/2 x 30 x 49 1/4 in. (146.1 x 76.2 x 125.1 cm) (show scale)
Back, proper right: "E. GODARD FOND."
Base, proper right: "© by Musée Rodin 1980"
Base, proper left: "A. Rodin"
Base, proper left: "No 7"
This item is not on view
Gift of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation
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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)
overall, 84.75.3_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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