Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Burghers of Calais by Auguste Rodin in London

Photo: The Burghers of Calais by Auguste Rodin, in Victoria Tower Gardens, London, England.

Under the French law no more than twelve casts of this piece were permitted after Rodin’s death. The London casting, purchased by the British Government in 1911, is one of them.

Les Bourgeois de Calais (1889) is one of the most famous sculptures by the French Sculptor Auguste Rodin. It serves as a monument to an occurrence in 1347 during the Hundred Years' War, when Calais, the major French port on the English Channel, was under siege by the British for over a year. England's Edward III, after a victory in the Battle of Crécy, laid siege to Calais, while Philip VI of France ordered the city to hold out at all costs. Philip failed to lift the siege, and starvation eventually forced the city to parley for surrender.

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