Category Archives: Statue Favorites

Sacred Places: Kamakura Buddha

The Great bronze Buddha of Kamakura , Japan

Very moving, very sacred. A notice at the entrance to the grounds reads:

Stranger, whosoever thou art and whatsoever be thy creed,

when thou enterest this sanctuary

remember thou treadest upon ground hallowed by the worship of ages.

This is the Temple of Bhudda 

and the gate of the eternal,

and should therefore be entered

with reverence.”

A stanza from the Five Nations by Rudyard Kipling:

But when the morning prayer is prayed,

Think, ere ye pass to strife and trade,

Is God in human image made

No nearer than Kamakura?

The bronze Kamakura Buddha statue, on top of a hill, dates from 1252, has survived two storms in 1334 and 1369, a tsunami in 1498, it weighs 93 tons, and is 48 feet tall.

Rodin’s Fallen Caryatid

This is a photo of me at the Rodin Museum in Paris in December of 1997, and, more importantly, a photo where I extracted the background and left the beautiful Fallen caryatid without a distracting background (or me:).
I first fell in love with this statue when I read “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert Heinlein in the 60’s. The following quote is from that book:
“This poor little caryatid has fallen under the load. She’s a good girl—look at her face. Serious, unhappy at her failure, not blaming anyone, not even the gods . . . and still trying to shoulder her load, after she’s crumpled under it. But she’s more than good art denouncing bad art; she’s a symbol for every woman who ever shouldered a load too heavy. But not alone women—this symbol means every man and woman who ever sweated out life in uncomplaining fortitude until they crumpled under their loads. It’s courage, Ben, and victory.” “ ‘Victory’?” “Victory in defeat, there is none higher. She didn’t give up, Ben; she’s still trying to lift that stone after it has crushed her. She’s a father working while cancer eats away his insides, to bring home one more pay check. She’s a twelve-year-old trying to mother her brothers and sisters because mama had to go to Heaven. She’s a switchboard operator sticking to her post while smoke chokes her and fire cuts off her escape. She’s all the unsung heroes who couldn’t make it but never quit. Come. Salute as you pass…”


Rodin Museum Paris Statues

Rodin Museum Paris: Statues and Light

Just wanted to share some of the photos I was able to catch in beautiful light of some of my favorite Rodin statues from Paris. It now seems so long ago! It is a beautiful museum with wonderful gardens and park behind. One of my favorite places in Paris!


Claudel most moving statue: L’Age Mur

Claudel’s most  moving statue: L’Age Mur

The Musee D’Orsay in Paris is probably my favorite museum in the world. And this is probably the most moving and  revealing statue I have ever seen.

Other translations of the name into English include: “The Age Wall” “The Mature Age” “The Destiny” “The Way of Life” and “The Fate.” All translations seem appropriate.

It is honestly and totally naked in form and psychology. It is the most honest and truly tragic statue I have ever seen. Claudel is worth studying, and I hope you take time to learn her story on your own. A tremendously talented artist, she worked with, learned from, was an equal to, and fell in love with, Rodin. Claudel was rejected by Rodin, and was eventually committed to a mental institution, and it was there where she eventually died in 1943. It is interesting to note that Rodin has a floor of his Rodin Museum in Paris that is dedicated to her statues and art.

According to a Wikipedia article I downloaded 2/15/15 “This work reflects Claudel’s abandonment by Rodin : She implores him kneeling while he prefers coming back to Rose, his wife. Claudel explained this symbolism in some letters to her brother Paul Claudel, then consul in New York. This work is thus deemed as autobiographical.”

It is so moving.
Camille, on her knees, off balance leaning forward,  pleading, naked arms outstretched to Rodin.
Rodin, with one arm reaching back,
hand so close, yet hand not quite touching her pleading hands,
As old Rose, his long time companion and wife, pulls Rodin away from Claudel.

Below I have provided 3 versions from one photo. One is the original photo I took of the statue at the Musee D’Orsay, the second is where I, using Photoshop,  removed everything but the statue leaving a white background. And the third is where I made the background range from red to green for dramatic effect. Enjoy whichever one brings out the beauty most for you!

It is truly a great statue by a great artist expressing unbelievable loss with brutal naked honesty.

Click on any of the images to see a larger version on a computer.