'Danaid', 1901-2

Auguste Rodin

Cast in bronze
Accession Number WAG4179

'Danaid', Auguste Rodin

Danaid was one of the 50 daughters of the ancient Greek king Danaus, who ordered them to murder their husbands on their wedding night, after their forced marriages. The women were condemned to spend eternity in Hell, endlessly trying to fill leaking jugs with water. The Danaid crouches in despair, her face half-buried in the rocky ground, her dishevelled hair trailing around the broken pot.

Rodin created one of his most sensuous works to represent her. His model may have been his pupil and lover the sculptress, Camille Claudel (1864-1943). Rodin intensified the sculpture's desolate mood by choosing a sharp green-coloured patina for the surface of the bronze.

Bequeathed by James Smith in 1923.