Rodin’s model for Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, music, poetry, crafts, and defense, was Marianna Russell (Italian, 1865–1908). Although she wears a helmet and breastplate decorated with a fierce Medusa’s head, this Minerva’s expression emphasizes the goddess’s intellectual and creative qualities.
Russell was a popular artist’s model and had previously posed for French sculptor Emmanuel Frémiet’s Joan of Arc.
Rodin Museum, North Gallery
|Date:||Modeled c. 1898; carved 1901|
|Artists:||Auguste Rodin, French, 1840 - 1917. Carved by Camille Raynaud, French, 1868 - after 1931|
|Dimensions:||22 1/2 × 12 1/4 × 11 1/2 inches (57.2 × 31.1 × 29.2 cm)|
|Credit Line:||Bequest of Jules E. Mastbaum, 1929|
|Geography:||Made in France, Europe|
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