'The Death of Athens', 1903

Auguste Rodin

Carved in marble
Accession Number WAG4182

'The Death of Athens', Auguste Rodin

The sculpture expresses Rodin's admiration for classical art and his regret at its passing. Athens, represented by a nude woman, lies beside a fragmentary column, half-submerged by the sands of time, into which she is being pulled by a figure crouched beneath her.

This complex sculpture is typical of Rodin's work both in its symbolism and because one has to move around it to fully appreciate its beauty. Its first owner James Smith specially commissioned a turntable on which to display it in his house at Blundellsands, Liverpool.

Bequeathed by James Smith in 1923.