'Eve', 1902

Auguste Rodin

Cast in bronze
Accession Number WAG4180

'Eve', Auguste Rodin

Eve is shown as the shame of her actions dawns upon her. She recoils sorrowfully, her head hunched, her arms folded around her body, her hand held up to ward off God's wrath. Rodin originally intended a larger version of this sculpture to stand alongside his 'Gates of Hell', symbolising (with its pair 'Adam') the cause of the sufferings shown on the 'Gates'. Rodin's 'Eve' was inspired by Michelangelo's 'Sistine Chapel' fresco, which he had seen on a trip to Italy in 1876.

The graceful, athletic Italian woman he used as his model for 'Eve', the mother of all humanity, added an unexpected naturalism to the sculpture, as she was pregnant. Rodin repeatedly modified his sculpture as his model's weight, shape and posture changed. Eve was also a favourite subject of James Smith, who owned several related paintings by the British artist Watts, including 'Eve created', on display in Room 8.

Bequeathed by James Smith in 1923.