Burghers of Callais, Rodin Museum, Paris, France, 2009

One of the most important works of Auguste Rodin, completed in 1889, in the gardens of the Musee Rodin, Paris. The port of Callais was under siege by the English for over a year in 1347 during the Hundred Years’ War. Philip VI of France ordered the city to hold out, but he failed to lift the siege, and starvation eventually forces a surrender. Edward III offered to spare the people if any six of its top leaders would surrender, to be executed. He demanded that they walk out naked, wearing nooses around their necks. This close-up shows Eustache de Saint Pierre, who volunteered first.

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