Iris, Messenger of the Gods

Artist: Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon)

Founder: Cast by Alexis Rudier (French)

Date: modeled ca. 1890, cast 1965

Culture: French

Medium: Bronze, black marble base

Dimensions: Overall (wt. on block confirmed): 17 1/2 × 16 3/8 × 9 in., 9.5 lb. (44.5 × 41.6 × 22.9 cm, 4.3 kg);
Height (with base): 19 1/16 in. (48.4 cm)

Classification: Sculpture-Bronze

Credit Line: Gift of Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, 1984

Accession Number: 1984.364.7


This unabashedly erotic partial figure was inspired by Rodin’s interest in dance. Extending her legs in mid-flight, the messenger of the gods is rendered weightless through her acrobatic pose. A large-scale winged version, symbolizing poetic inspiration, was originally intended for Rodin’s monument to the Romantic poet Victor Hugo.