The Old Courtesan (La Belle qui fut heaulmière)

Artist: Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon)

Date: modeled ca. 1885, cast 1910

Culture: French

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: Overall (wt. confirmed): 19 3/4 × 11 × 8 in., 37 lb. (50.2 × 27.9 × 20.3 cm, 16.8 kg)

Classification: Sculpture-Bronze

Credit Line: Gift of Thomas F. Ryan, 1910

Accession Number: 11.173.3


Incorporated into the left pilaster on The Gates of Hell, the withered old woman evoked a moral connection between sin and the ravages of time. The harrowing veracity of the independent sculpture accords with a statement of Rodin’s: "Character is the intense truth of any natural [sight], beautiful or ugly."