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The Gates of Hell

Foundry mark lower right side: Alexis Rudier/Fondeur. PARIS

Auguste Rodin, French, 1840 - 1917. Cast by the founder Alexis Rudier, Paris, 1874 - 1952.

Made in France, Europe

Modeled 1880-1917; cast 1926-1928


20 feet 10 3/4 inches × 13 feet 2 inches × 33 3/8 inches (636.9 × 401.3 × 84.8 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Rodin Museum

* Rodin Museum, Parkway

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Bequest of Jules E. Mastbaum, 1929

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In 1880 Rodin was commissioned to create a set of bronze doors for a new museum in Paris. Inspired by The Divine Comedy, written by Dante Alighieri (Italian, c. 1265–1324), Rodin planned to decorate the doors with characters that Dante met on his fictional journey through hell. The sculptor eventually discarded the idea of a strict narrative and instead created a weightless, chaotic world filled with more than 200 figures in the throes of pain and despair. Although the planned museum never came to fruition, Rodin worked on the sculpture for nearly thirty-seven years, periodically adding, removing, or modifying elements on it.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.