Rodin: From Calais to Asia
The monumental head of Pierre de Wissant by Auguste Rodin, was sold in an auction to an Asian private collector.
The monumental head of Pierre de Wissant is an enlarged cast of the head of one of the figures from Rodin’s famous Monument to the Burghers of Calais, one of the greatest works of public art of the nineteenth century. The latter, signifying patriotism and heroism, depicts six burghers from Calais, a town in the north of France, who volunteered to sacrifice their lives to save their homeland during England’s invasion in 1347. Pierre de Wissant was one of the burghers and Rodin’s rendition of him was considered as the most moving and popular.
The Monumental Head of Pierre de Wissant was recognized as a great piece of artwork when it was first exhibited in 1909 in Berlin. The 82 cm tall bronze head carries communicative emotion that vividly expresses the fear and courage of Pierre de Wissant when facing death. It has been exhibited in open air for years, and has acquired rich and variegated natural patinas.