La Danaide  

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La Danaide[1] (1889) is a sculpture by French artist Auguste Rodin.

Rodin intended La Danaide to be a panel in his massive work entitled The Gates of Hell, a depiction of those that were condemned to eternal damnation. In Greek mythology Danaide and her forty-nine sisters were married to the fifty sons of Aegyptus. At the command of their father Danaus the fifty daughters murdered their husbands on their wedding night. As punishment for this horrendous crime they were compelled in The Realm of the Dead to fill a container with water but the leading jug could never be filled.

Rodin saw the opportunity in this Greek myth of portraying utter exhaustion in a female body, the complete collapse of Danaide from the endless and futile effort of her assignment. Expressing the human body in all possible positions was a life-long fascination for Rodin. The Danaide was executed during a period when Rodin was exploring the female nude in recumbent postures. Rodin has been appreciated for decades as one of the pre-eminent Realist sculptors of the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century. Rodin's goal, as he put it, was "to render inner feelings through muscular movement."

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