The Burghers of Calais
Auguste Rodin French
Founder Coubertin Foundry
The Burghers of Calais (1884–95) is Rodin’s best-known public monument. The plaster and bronze casts in this case are small- and large-scale studies from different stages of the commission that Rodin considered independent works. The monument commemorates the heroism of six leading citizens (burghers) of the French city of Calais. In the fourteenth century, at the beginning of the Hundred Years’ War, they offered their lives to the English king in exchange for the lifting of his siege of the city. By portraying their despair and haunted courage in the face of death, Rodin challenged contemporary heroic ideals and made an event from the past seem immediate and real. A full-scale bronze of The Burghers of Calais is on view in the Carroll and Milton Petrie European Sculpture Court (Gallery 548).
#91. The Burghers of Calais, Part 1
91. The Burghers of Calais, Part 1
91. The Burghers of Calais, Part 2
91. The Burghers of Calais, Part 3
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.