Proposal for Essay #1

by Brandon Cosby

September 13, 2008
English 302 H07

  1. I will be describing Rodin's Crouching Woman. It is a bronze sculpture on display at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC.
  2. The subject itself is a woman, contorted into a squatting position with her face turned away from the front. She appears to be in great pain yet carries on her face a look of resignation.
  3. My provisional thesis for the subject is how the artists puts the subject into a physically uncomfortable position, but leaves on her an expression of ambivalence. I will explore how the two are completely disconnected and why that may be.
  4. As for how I present it, I will put the piece into context, citing Rodin's career and an evolution he undertook as an artists. The trauma of the piece may have personal connections to him as an artists and I will explore any possible explanation I find.

    I may also compare the piece to similar ones of the period and contrast the physical pose of the subject to others. If such bizarre contortions were common at the time, I will be eager to find out and present my discoveries.

  5. I was attracted to the piece because of its startling first impression. The serene, if slightly troubled, expression of the subject is also enchanting because it gives such a contrast to what we would normally expect and produce ourselves if put into a similar position. The piece is also remarkable because of its use of distinct lines that slip into undefined masses at the bottom.
  6. In the end, I believe Rodin was attempting to inspire a feeling of trauma and perseverance through the piece. Perhaps there was a personal connection the artist felt to the sculpture and I am intrigued to find out through my research.

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