The face of courageous sacrifice and suffering, Jean d'Aire – sculpture by August Rodin

On August 1, 1347, the city of Calais in France had fallen. The siege had been long, over 8 months, and the citizens were proud of their massive castle which was over 1,000 yards wide, surrounded by two moats, and protected by the sea at its back.

The terms of the surrender were the lives of the six noblest men in the city. These men, called burghers, were to leave the city with a noose around their neck and present themselves and the keys to the city to the conquering king, Edward III of England.

The most prominent of them all was Jean d’Aire and his face says it all.

Over 500 years later the citizens of Calais asked sculptor August Rodin to commemorate that day with a statue of all six burghers marching to their doom. He complied and ended up creating one of his best masterpieces.

The bust you see above is but one part of the statue, albeit the most famous. In later years Rodin would create several copies of that face for busts and in giant size. Today, you can find these copies all around the world at museum, parks, and in Calais.

But, first the original:

Continue reading The face of courageous sacrifice and suffering, Jean d'Aire – sculpture by August Rodin

The face of courageous sacrifice and suffering, Jean d’Aire – sculpture by August Rodin

On August 1, 1347, the city of Calais in France had fallen. The siege had been long, over 8 months, and the citizens were proud of their massive castle which was over 1,000 yards wide, surrounded by two moats, and protected by the sea at its back.

The terms of the surrender were the lives of the six noblest men in the city. These men, called burghers, were to leave the city with a noose around their neck and present themselves and the keys to the city to the conquering king, Edward III of England.

The most prominent of them all was Jean d’Aire and his face says it all.

Over 500 years later the citizens of Calais asked sculptor August Rodin to commemorate that day with a statue of all six burghers marching to their doom. He complied and ended up creating one of his best masterpieces.

The bust you see above is but one part of the statue, albeit the most famous. In later years Rodin would create several copies of that face for busts and in giant size. Today, you can find these copies all around the world at museum, parks, and in Calais.

But, first the original:

Continue reading The face of courageous sacrifice and suffering, Jean d’Aire – sculpture by August Rodin