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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Stanford in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The Gates of Hell

Auguste Rodin

 
 
The Gates of Hell Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, January 21, 2008
1. The Gates of Hell Marker
Inscription. I have loved these awesome doors since that winter day in 1949 when I first stood below them outside the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia and was terrified at the prospect of writing my dissertation on the Gates of Hell. In one way or another, I have lived with them for thirty-five years, and yet when it comes to lecturing or writing about this great portal there are still exhilarating things to discover, accompanied by inevitable dismay over the inadequacy of one's own language and culture to share revelations... I've seen the doors in museums and foundries, in plaster and war, in negative molds and raw bronze sections, and they never fail to surprise. Look at them in the rain or when a winter sun is low and they take on a different qualities. Light then at night form below, the way Rodin must have done in his studio a thousand times, and when you realize you don't know them as a work of art... Not other single work of sculpture know to me can so attach itself to a person for life, making constant claims on intelligence, intuition, and feeling and yet remain so fresh, changing as one changes rewarding ages and experience. You do not outgrow The Gates, you grow into them.
--Albert E. Elsen
The Gates of Hell, 1985
Dedicated in Memory of
Albert E. Elsen, Friend and Scholar

 
Erected
The Gates of Hell Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, January 21, 2008
2. The Gates of Hell Marker
1995 by Iris and B. Gerald Cantor.
 
Location. 37° 25.95′ N, 122° 10.246′ W. Marker is in Stanford, California, in Santa Clara County. Marker is on 328 Lomita Drive south of Campus Drive, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. This marker and statues are located on the campus of Leland Stanford, Jr. University. Marker is in this post office area: Stanford CA 94305, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Development of Motion Pictures (approx. ¾ mile away); Hostess House (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Hostess House War and Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.8 miles away); Electronics Research Laboratory (approx. 0.9 miles away); History of Tower Well (approx. one mile away); Lou Henry Hoover House (approx. one mile away); San Francisquito Creek Watershed (approx. one mile away); El Palo Alto (approx. one mile away).
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, Music
 
The Gates of Hell Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, January 21, 2008
3. The Gates of Hell Marker
Leland Stanford Junior Museum image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, January 21, 2008
4. Leland Stanford Junior Museum
Welcome Cantor Art Center
Rodin Statues/Park image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, January 21, 2008
5. Rodin Statues/Park
The Shades image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, January 21, 2008
6. The Shades
The Three Shades stand atop The Gates of Hell above The Thinker, gesturing downwards, heads lowered and arms extended, appearing despondent and weary. The composition consists of three casts of the same figure juxtaposed at slightly different angles. Rodin's peers believed The Three Shades signified Dante's warning, "Abandon every hope, ye who enters here," which is taken from the inscription above the Gates of Hell in Dante's Inferno.
Eve from The Gates of Hell Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, January 21, 2008
7. Eve from The Gates of Hell Marker
In most Rodin catalogues, it is assumed Rodin was talking about the Abruzzezzi sisters, Adèle and Anna, Anna being the darker type referred to. By now, archive research has established that Anna impossibly could have been the pregnant model for 'Eve'; probably, Rodin - having his conversation with Dujardin-Beaumetz only twenty years after - had mixed up his recollection of the Abruzzezzi sisters with that of another Italian model, Carmen Visconti.
Adam The Gates of Hell Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, January 21, 2008
8. Adam The Gates of Hell Marker
Being dissatisfied with his first outline of 'Adam', because he thought it too close to Michelangelo's style, he destroyed this first version. Rodin's second version, though, still looks like very similar to Buonarotti's 'Adam' as painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 704 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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