Rodin: The Old Courtesan

Rodin - The Old Courtesan

Auguste Rodin
The Old Courtesan
Also called She Who Was The Helmet Maker’s Once-Beautiful Wife (Celle qui fut la belle heaulmière)
Modeled 1887, this bronze cast 1969
(via Brooklyn Museum)

“Anyone can see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl she used to be. A great artist can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is … and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be … more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo see that this lovely young girl is still alive, prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart.”

— Robert A. Heinlein, referring to this sculpture in Stranger in a Strange Land

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