Rodin Works: Kneeling Fauness, Toilette of Venus, Awakening


We find the 'Kneeling Fauness' in the left half of the tympanum of 'The Gates of Hell', underneath another female figures later known as 'The Martyr'. The juxtaposition of the two women had evolved from the sculptor's urge to populate his monumental Venus, bronze, Musee Dr Faure. Photo: H. de Roosportal with a great number of characters, closely flocked together in the chaotic turmoil of the Inferno; in later years, Rodin preserved this accidental combination under the title 'Orpheus and the Furies' - changing the gender of the kneeling figure by decorating it with a miniature penis. Eventually, the awkward assemblage was eternalized in marble.

As can easily be recognized, 'Toilette of Venus', or 'Awakening', created around 1885, essentially is a variation of the 'Kneeling Fauness', the head turned to the right and with a more elegant hair-do.


Orpheus and the Furies,
plaster, ca. 1884

Toilette of Venus, ca. 1885. Photo: Haweis & Coles

Toilette of Venus, ca. 1885. Photo: Haweis & Coles

Marble version, National 
Gallery of Art, Washington


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