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…”


One thought on “Rodin’s Fallen Caryatid

  1. Michelle

    Love this — I had the same experience of reading Heinlein’s quote, then falling in love with the statue when I saw it in person. There is one at the NC Museum of Art, fyi.


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