|The Burghers of Calais by Auguste Rodin at Ca' Pesaro|
The Hundred Years' War between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of France began in 1337 as a war between two cousins -- Edward III of England and Philip VI of France -- for the French throne, and ended in 1453. An important early battle was at Calais, which is so close to England that the port makes an excellent trading center for English goods. English Edward not only wanted Calais, he also thought he should be king of France, not French Philip. (I won't get into all the haggling over bloodlines, but they both had legitimate claims to the crown.) But the French aristocracy certainly did not want to be ruled by the King of England!
|Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Washington II, C-print by Candida Hofer|
|Musée Rodin Paris III C-print by Candida Hofer|
More than 500 years later, in 1884, the city of Calais commissioned the French sculptor Auguste Rodin to create a monument celebrating the act of heroism and identity of the city. The moment Rodin chose to depict was controversial, the public expecting something more classically glorious and heroic. Rodin insisted he had captured the heroism of self-sacrifice.
|Place de L'Hotel de Ville Calais I, C-print by Candida Hofer|
|Kunstmuseum Basel II, C-print by Candida Hofer |
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Ciao from Venezia,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog