I’ve just spent a rapt couple of hours in one of my favourite places – Musée Rodin in Paris. I love Rodin’s work because he can evoke such intense emotions using lumps of stone and metal. Here is one of my favourites:
This is the Cariatide à la pierre. A caryatid is an architectural column in the shape of a human figure, and this caryatid has partly collapsed beneath the weight she is carrying. But she’s still struggling to get to her feet, even though she knows it’s hopeless.
The sign by the exhibit says that she represents humankind being crushed by the weight of destiny. It’s part of a larger Rodin work called The Gates of Hell, loosely based on Dante’s Inferno, which explores the extremes of suffering and pleasure.