Orpheus and Eurydice

Auguste Rodin French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 800

The mythical poet Orpheus braved the underworld to rescue his dead wife, Eurydice. The gods allowed her ghost to follow him and regain life, provided that Orpheus did not look at her until both had reached the sunlit earth. Rodin depicts Eurydice’s spirit floating in the underworld’s dark entrance while Orpheus hesitates at the threshold. Because he cannot feel her phantom embrace, or hear her spectral voice, Orpheus turns to see if his beloved has come. An instant later he will glimpse her, and Eurydice will vanish. This exquisitely carved sculpture, one of the first Rodin works to come to America, is the only marble example of the composition.

#2192. Orpheus and Eurydice

Orpheus and Eurydice, Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon), Marble, French, Paris

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