Pierre de Wiessant, Monumental (Pierre de Wissant, monumental)
On View: Beaux-Arts Court, North, 3rd Floor
In the wake of its humiliating defeat at the hands of Prussia in 1870, the French Third Republic sought to reinvigorate notions of heroism and citizenship. To this end, in 1884 the city council of Calais commissioned Rodin to create a monument to Eustache de Saint-Pierre. In 1347, while Calais was under siege by the English, Eustache and five other important citizens of the town had offered themselves as hostages, pleading for mercy for their long-suffering city.
In his first maquette of 1884, Rodin proposed a conventional monument, with his figures united as a group on a tall pedestal. By the following year, however, the six figures were placed on a low rectangular plinth, at the same level as the viewer. As Rodin later wrote: "I wanted to have my statues placed in front of the Calais city hall on the very paving of the square like a living rosary of suffering and sacrifice."
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 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.
[Text not currently in gallery]
1887; cast 1979
84 5/8 x 46 x 39 in., 567 lb. (214.9 x 116.8 x 99.1 cm) (show scale)
Back, lower edge of base: "F*C"
Back, lower edge of base: "© by Musée Rodin 1979"
Base, near proper left foot: "A. Rodin"
Base, near proper left foot: "No 3"
Gift of Iris and B. Gerald Cantor
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact email@example.com
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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)
overall, 84.243_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.