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Orpheus

Auguste Rodin1908 (model)

The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo

The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo

Orpheus, a figure who appears in Greek mythology as the son of Apollo and a Nymph, was known for his beautiful lyre playing which charmed the wild beasts, trees and rocks. In despair over the death of his wife Eurydice, Orpheus visited Hades where he appealed to the Gods of Hell for the return of his beloved wife. A striking image of Orpheus lost in deep despair as he plays the lyre can be seen in the flowing form of Rodin's sculpture. Rodin created the original plaster model for this work around 1892, and this first form had a Muse seated on Orpheus' shoulder, but this secondary figure, exhibited at the Salon in 1908, was removed from the bronze. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no. 139)

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Details

  • Title: Orpheus
  • Date Created: 1908 (model)
  • Location Created: France
  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings: Signed lower right of base: A. Rodin; Foundry mark back left side of base: Alexis Rudier / Fondeur Paris
  • Sculptor: Auguste Rodin
  • Provenance: Kojiro Matsukata; Sequestered by the French Government, 1944; Returned to Japan, 1959.
  • Physical Dimensions: w800 x h1460 x d1260 mm
  • Object title (Japanese): オルフェウス
  • Object notes (Japanese): オルフェウスはギリシャ神話に出てくる人物でアポロンとニンフの子といわれ、その絶妙な竪琴の調べで野獣や木や岩をも魅了したといわれる。妻エウリュディケーの死に逢って悲しみのあまり黄泉の国に降りて行き、冥府の神々に愛妻の復活を訴えた。絶望にうちふるえて竪琴をかきならすオルフェウスをロダンは激流のような姿態に託して表現している。石膏による原型制作は1892年頃で、その時は肩の上にミューズを載せていたが、ブロンズ作品ではそれが省かれている。(出典: 国立西洋美術館名作選. 東京, 国立西洋美術館, 2006. cat. no. 139)
  • Artist Name (Japanese): ロダン、オーギュスト
  • Type: Sculptures
  • Rights: Matsukata Collection, http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/information/privacy.html
  • External Link: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
  • Medium: Bronze

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