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Damned Women (Femmes damnées)

European Art

Rodin combined two female figures that appear separately in The Gates of Hell to create one of his most boldly erotic works. In this sculpture of impassioned lovers, their straining bodies and projecting limbs manifest the experience of physical pleasure. The pejorative title comes from a poem of the same name in Charles Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil that portrays lesbians as “damned women,” condemned to Hell for their “unnatural” desires.
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES ca. 1885-before 1890, cast 1979
    DIMENSIONS 7 7/8 x 11 1/4 x 5 5/8 in. (20.0 x 28.6 x 14.3 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Faint trace of Fonderie de Coubertin stamp Copyright mark--Back, lower edge: "© by Musée Rodin 1979"
    SIGNATURE Front: "Rodin"
    INSCRIPTIONS Front, below signature: "No 7"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917). Damned Women (Femmes damnées), ca. 1885-before 1890, cast 1979. Bronze, 7 7/8 x 11 1/4 x 5 5/8 in. (20.0 x 28.6 x 14.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, 86.87.4. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 86.87.4_bw_SL3.jpg)
    EDITION Edition: 7/12
    IMAGE overall, 86.87.4_bw_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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