La Danaïde (1880s)

Rodin, Auguste (1840-1917)

La Danaïde (Danaid)
1880s, carved 19031904
Marble, 23 x 40 x 26 cm
Princeton University Art MuseumPrinceton

The Danaids of Greek mythology were the fifty daughters of Danaus; married to a group of brothers, they murdered their husbands on their collective wedding night and were condemned to spend eternity attempting to fill perforated jugs with water. This exhausted Danaid exemplifies Rodin’s ability to convey emotion through the body—the downward arc underscores her desperation and frustration. Rodin allowed his models to assume different poses as he sought the perfect expressive gesture. He modeled his subjects in clay, and his collaborators made multiple copies in marble or bronze. The details and quality of execution of the marble versions vary, but all are considered works by Rodin. (PUAM)