Clockwise: "Watson and the Shark" by John Singleton Copley, 1778 (National Gallery of Art); Shaw Memorial by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (Photo: Paul Glenshaw); Auguste Rodin’s The Burghers of Calais,
(Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden ( Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden: “150 Works of Art” (1996) by Valerie Fletcher); "The Railway", 1873 by Edouard Manet (National Gallery of Art)
Save when you purchase the Art + History: Evening Encores series!
If you’ve not experienced Paul Glenshaw’s daytime series Art + History, in which he examines great works of art in their historical context, now’s your chance. He reprises four of his most popular lectures in livestreamed evening programs through July and August. In each, he delves into the time of the artist, explores the present they inhabited, and what shaped their vision and creations, bringing the art and their creators to vivid life. Even if you’ve taken part in previous programs, you’ll find new insights in joining Glenshaw for another look at these timeless works.
The Burghers of Calais by Auguste Rodin
In Rodin’s The Burghers of Calais, completed in 1889, six massive figures turn and twist among themselves. They are barefoot and clad in draping robes, chained, and hold massive keys. Their faces depict stages of courage, fear, despair, and resolution. Why did August Rodin take on the creation of a monument to these French town leaders, who offered themselves in sacrifice to the English King Edward III almost 550 years before? Who were the burghers and why did they give themselves over to die? How did Rodin produce such a departure from conventional memorials to national heroes?
Glenshaw leads a virtual visit to the cast of the memorial at the Hirshhorn Museum’s Sculpture Garden and travels back in time to the unveiling of Rodin’s epic and controversial sculpture, to the studio where he created it, and to 14th-century Calais and the moment of the burghers’ sacrifice.
Glenshaw is an artist, educator, author, and filmmaker with more than 30 years' experience working across disciplines in the arts, history, and sciences.
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