Auguste RODIN: artist

Not On Display

About the work

Auguste Rodin worked outside the predominant sculptural tradition of his time - the representation of idealised beauty through the use of traditional postures - and employed dynamic modelling and exaggeration of the figure to suggest movement and the inner psychological life of his subject. Rodin's Adam is derived initially from the Bible, although the sculpture was first conceived as part of Rodin's monumental work The Gates of Hell, which was inspired by Dante's The Divine Comedy, and in which Rodin sought to depict the link between passion and suffering.

In spite of its literary references, this is not a narrative sculpture. Rodin's Adam directly references the work of Michelangelo, the right arm being taken from the figure of Adam on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, while the left arm is derived from the dead Christ of Michelangelo's Pietà. In its allusion to the beginning and the end of life, this single sculpture can be seen to sum up the whole of an individual's lived experience and emotional life.
Artist/Maker and role
Auguste RODIN: artist
1974 {cast}
198 x 74 x 82 cm
Credit line
Purchased with the assistance of the Government of Western Australia and donations from the Friends of the Art Gallery, Messrs R.C. Crebbins, G. Summerhayes, M. Saunders and the public, 1977
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the sculptures in our collection.