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Auguste Rodin

The Sirens


Auguste Rodin
Paris 1840 – Meudon, France, 1917


The Sirens


About 1887-1888




44.5 x 45.7 x 27 cm


Executed by Jean Escoula between 1889 and 1892


Gift of the Huntly Redpath Drummond family, inv. 1958.1192


Western Art

Rodin first exhibited the plaster cast of this magnificent sculpture at the famous exhibition Monet-Rodin, organized in 1889 by the Georges Petit gallery in Paris, which brought these two great geniuses together. “Three intertwined sirens sing; each of a different stature and pose, they form an uneven group, staggered like pan pipes,” critic Gustave Geffroy wrote. Emerging voluptuously from the unfinished block, the bodies and hair of these women – sirens in name only, as Rodin often titled his works after the fact – are interlaced in a Sapphic weave that obsessed the sculptor with its relentless round dance. The popularity of this model proved long-lived: eighteen copies are known, four of which are in marble – the Museum houses the first of these four rare pieces. Under the close supervision of the master, each marble version was carved by a workshop assistant, which explains the minor differences between them.

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