Friday, July 27, 2012


Pas de roses sans épines
A view of Auguste Rodin's sculpture group, Les Bourgeois de Calais, inaugurated in Calais in 1895. Twelve original bronze editions of it exist and are located in Calais, Paris, London, Copenhagen, Mariemont (in Belgium), Basel, Philadelphia, New York City, Washington D.C., Pasadena, Tokyo and Seoul. 

Above is the very first of the limited edition which was ordered by the city of Calais. It commemorates the legendary story of the heroic self-sacrifice of six of the town's notables in 1347 during the Hundred Years' War.

When Calais was forced to surrender to England, King Edward III supposedly offered to spare its people if six town leaders would give themselves over to be executed. Six burghers volunteered and were led out of the city, stripped down, wearing nooses and carrying keys to the city gates and castle, as Edward had ordered. The story is that their lives were spared, however, at the request of King Edward's wife.

The sculpture group is installed in front of the Calais Hôtel de Ville, or town hall. At this and other sites the individual burghers are positioned tightly together on a single base, at some sites they are mounted separately and at greater distances from one another.

Photo courtesy of Marianne Lecron
©2012 P.B. Lecron

1 comment:

  1. Bonjour! Patti

    How are you? I hope to hear from you!
    Mary B