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Pierre de Wiessant, Monumental (Pierre de Wissant, monumental)

European Art

On View: Robert E. Blum Gallery, 1st floor
Here, the body’s expressive power conveys what the burgher Pierre de Wiessant contemplates: the physical and psychic price of placing the collective good above personal considerations. His hands and feet are disproportionately large: the hands recall the unconscious gestures accompanying an intense internal dialogue; and the feet—one planted, the other pivoting—simultaneously suggest hesitation and propulsion toward an accepted destiny. The huge, flexed bicep seems strong but is visually countered by the rope—a symbol of his surrender—hanging down the other side of his body.

Although the figure is draped, one can still discern the contours of the body that Rodin studied in the full-size nude version of Pierre de Wiessant on view at the beginning of the exhibition.
MEDIUM Bronze
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES 1887; cast 1979
    DIMENSIONS 84 5/8 x 46 x 39 in., 567 lb. (214.9 x 116.8 x 99.1 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Back, lower edge of base: "F*C" Back, lower edge of base: "© by Musée Rodin 1979"
    SIGNATURE Base, near proper left foot: "A. Rodin"
    INSCRIPTIONS Base, near proper left foot: "No 3"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Robert E. Blum Gallery, 1st floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 84.243
    EDITION Edition: 3/12
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Iris and B. Gerald Cantor
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917). Pierre de Wiessant, Monumental (Pierre de Wissant, monumental), 1887; cast 1979. Bronze, 84 5/8 x 46 x 39 in., 567 lb. (214.9 x 116.8 x 99.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Iris and B. Gerald Cantor, 84.243. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 84.243_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 84.243_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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