The Fallen Angel thumbnail 1
The Fallen Angel thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Sculpture, Room 21, The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries

The Fallen Angel

Group
ca. 1895-1900 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Rodin explored the human form in extreme physical and emotional states in a number of works (for example, 'The Prodigal Son'; museum number A.34-1914). Here a winged figure has collapsed on the ground and is held by a second naked female. The group is thought to evoke the vain flight of our illusions, though the intimacy of the two figures may also reflect Rodin's interest in the writing of Baudelaire.

Rodin extracted single figures from groups to create individual pieces, or used existing individual figures in new combinations to form groups. The winged figure here, for example, is based on the Torso of Adèle, first modelled in the late 1880s as a siren figure for a villa in Nice. It was reused later on The Gates of Hell (the bronze portal and doors for the new Museum of Decorative Arts, Paris, which Rodin was asked to design in 1880, where it appears upper left of the tympanum, the rectangular panel immediately above the doors), and as a kneeling figure in Eternal Spring.

Rodin's appreciation of the formal aspects of the human body and his facility for creating new compositions was inspired by his vast collection of models and plaster casts. Turning them in his hand, he examined their formal properties and considered how the different pieces might be combined to create new sculpture.

This group has been known as 'The Fall of Icarus', and 'Illusion falls with broken wings, the earth receives him', but is now generally known by its present title. Just as Rodin changed the formal elements of his sculpture he also changed their titles equally frequently. (See also 'France', Museum no. A.39-1914).


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Bronze
Brief Description
Two entwined female figures in bronze entitled 'The Fallen Angel' by Auguste Rodin
Physical Description
One female figure is collapsed upon the ground, enveloped by another.
Dimensions
  • Height: 53.3cm
  • Width: 81.2cm
  • Length: 90cm
  • Weight: 93kg
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'A. Rodin' (Inscription, upper surface and base)
  • 'Alexis. Rudier/Fondeur Paris' (Inscription, back of base)
Gallery Label
Rodin's sculpture explored the human body in extreme physical and emotional states. Here he shows a collapsed, winged figure being held by a second naked female. The group is probably the result of direct observation, though Rodin had an extraordinary ability to improvise new compositions, stimulated by his vast collection of drawings, models and plasters.(March 2007)
Credit line
Given by Rodin in November 1914
Production
This bronze is also sometimes known as the 'Illusion falls to Earth with broken wings'
Subject depicted
Summary
Rodin explored the human form in extreme physical and emotional states in a number of works (for example, 'The Prodigal Son'; museum number A.34-1914). Here a winged figure has collapsed on the ground and is held by a second naked female. The group is thought to evoke the vain flight of our illusions, though the intimacy of the two figures may also reflect Rodin's interest in the writing of Baudelaire.



Rodin extracted single figures from groups to create individual pieces, or used existing individual figures in new combinations to form groups. The winged figure here, for example, is based on the Torso of Adèle, first modelled in the late 1880s as a siren figure for a villa in Nice. It was reused later on The Gates of Hell (the bronze portal and doors for the new Museum of Decorative Arts, Paris, which Rodin was asked to design in 1880, where it appears upper left of the tympanum, the rectangular panel immediately above the doors), and as a kneeling figure in Eternal Spring.



Rodin's appreciation of the formal aspects of the human body and his facility for creating new compositions was inspired by his vast collection of models and plaster casts. Turning them in his hand, he examined their formal properties and considered how the different pieces might be combined to create new sculpture.



This group has been known as 'The Fall of Icarus', and 'Illusion falls with broken wings, the earth receives him', but is now generally known by its present title. Just as Rodin changed the formal elements of his sculpture he also changed their titles equally frequently. (See also 'France', Museum no. A.39-1914).
Bibliographic References
  • Hawkins, Jennifer, Rodin Sculptures,London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1975, pp. 24-5, ill.20.
  • Catalogue of Sculpture by Auguste Rodin.London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1925. pp. 14-15
  • Grappe. G. Catalogue du Musée Rodin. Paris, 1944. no. 277.
  • Alley, R. Tate Gallery Catalogue: Foreign Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture. London, 1959. pp. 214-215. pte. 47b.
  • Mitchell, Claudine. The Zola of Sculpture. In: Mitchell, Claudine. ed. Rodin: The Zola of Sculpture. Henry Moore Institute, 2003. pp. 183-200.
  • Antoinette, Le Normand-Romain. The Bronzes of Rodin: Catalogue of Works in the Musée Rodin. London : Lund Humphries ; Paris : Éditions de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2007. pp. 262-264.
  • Mitchell, Claudine. The Gift to the British Nation: Rodin at the V&A. In: Mitchell, Claudine. ed.Rodin: The Zola of Sculpture. Henry Moore Institute, 2003. pp. 183-200.
  • Art Français, Exposition d'art decorative contemporain, 1800-1885, London: Grosvenor House, 1914.
Collection
Accession Number
A.37-1914

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record createdNovember 26, 2002
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