Art and Controversy in Philadelphia
Toward The Burghers of Calais
Keep going, following the path to the right.
[1.5 SECOND PAUSE]
The path will lead you to one of Rodin’s most controversial works, The Burghers of Calais.
The sculpture was a commission to honor six Calais men who, during the 100 Years War, volunteered to be put to death. In exchange, the enemy, would ensure Calais’s citizens didn’t die of starvation.
Fortunately, The English Queen Philippa, was moved by their sacrifice, and spared the men’s lives.
At the unveiling, the people of Calais viewed it as an epic fail. They were expecting the men to be represented as vigorous, idealized, heroic figures.
Continue to the sculpture.