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Danaid (Danaïde)

Auguste Rodin

European Art

This sculpture depicts one of the Danaids of Greek mythology. After murdering their husbands on their wedding night, the Danaids were condemned to the endless task of filling leaking vessels with water. Auguste Rodin’s Danaid has collapsed in exhaustion and despair, having realized the futility of her actions. Although the overturned jug links the composition to its mythological source, Rodin was primarily interested in the expressive potential of the nude female form, here presented in a pose that is both sensual and frank.

Rodin supervised and authorized the production of marble sculptures, such as this one, that were made by a skilled stone carver working from the artist’s clay or plaster model.
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES probably 1903
    DIMENSIONS 12 3/4 × 27 1/2 × 20 1/2 in., 285 lb. (32.4 × 69.9 × 52.1 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Back: "A. Rodin"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund
    PROVENANCE Circa 1904, reportedly purchased from the artist by an unidentified collector of London, United Kingdom; by November 1911, reportedly purchased from an unidentified collector by Cottier & Co., New York, NY; 1912, purchased from Cottier & Co. by the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Auguste Rodin (French, 1840–1917). Danaid (Danaïde), probably 1903. Marble, 12 3/4 × 27 1/2 × 20 1/2 in., 285 lb. (32.4 × 69.9 × 52.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund, 12.873. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 12.873_SL3.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 12.873_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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