Auguste Rodin: The Burghers of Calais
Though it is clearly impossible to fully express the power of a sculpture, or indeed any work of art, through a picture, I wanted to show a little bit of a work that is one of the most meaningful to me. The artist, Rodin, is best known for his “The Thinker” and “The Kiss”. For me though, “The Burghers of Calais” is his greatest work. It is essential to see this sculpture in person to comprehend its emotional power. Understanding the story portrayed lends the work even greater depth. The six men in the sculpture were leading citizens of their city, Calais. In 1347, during the Hundred Years War, Edward III besieged Calais. In an attempt to save their city and its citizens, the six burghers agreed to sacrifice their lives to become Edward’s hostages and take him the keys to the city.