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Youth Triumphant (La Jeunesse triomphante)

European Art

In this enigmatic group Rodin joined the figures of an elderly and a young woman embracing. Their relationship is unclear: Rodin did not always attach a specific meaning or narrative to his works, nor did he grant too much importance to titles, leaving things open to a range of interpretations. The piece has also been called Fate and the Convalescent and Young Girl and Fate, which both seem to refer to the small scissors on the back. In this reading, the old woman is Fate, who has dropped her scissors and will not be snipping the delicate thread of the young woman’s life. The title Youth Triumphant suggests an allegory of the life cycle, with youth rising to overcome age.

The wizened old woman here epitomizes Rodin’s frequent interest in depicting unconventional or unidealized figures.
MEDIUM Bronze
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES 1896; cast date unknown (after 1898)
    DIMENSIONS 20 1/2 x 18 x 12 3/4 in. (52.1 x 45.7 x 32.4 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Side with feet, stamp for Thiébaut
    SIGNATURE Bottom right: "A. Rodin"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 84.210.2
    EDITION Edition: 23/unknown
    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). Youth Triumphant (La Jeunesse triomphante), 1896; cast date unknown (after 1898). Bronze, 20 1/2 x 18 x 12 3/4 in. (52.1 x 45.7 x 32.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, 84.210.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 84.210.2_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 84.210.2_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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