This sculpture was born in Paris. S. Golubkina, the student of Auguste Rodin herself, invited to pose for a woman who was once a model and posed for the master Rhoden herself.
Rodin once created the sculpture "The One That Was Beautiful Olmer." The sculpture completely ruthlessly, defiantly naturalistic showed the world the decrepitude of old age. Golubkina invested in her work the deep philosophical meaning of the cycle of being and death. The old woman sits in the fetal position in the womb, which only emphasizes the spontaneous change of life and death, their incredible circulation. The pedestal on which the woman sits symbolizes the earth as a place where a person between the entrance (life) and the exit (death) finds some rest, a respite on the path through a closed cycle, as implacable as death itself.
The sculpture was exhibited in Paris in 1898, where in the "Autumn Art Salon" received a bronze medal awarded to her by the French Academy of Arts.
Parisians, true connoisseurs of art, were struck by the realism and philosophy of the theme of life and death. Some whispered, “How beautiful this horror is.” Rodin once said to Golubkina that sculpture does not need originality, but an expression of life is necessary.
The sculpture looks very lively, albeit very old. A nude woman sits with her knees pressed almost to her chin, even somewhat bashfully, shy of her defenseless nakedness. She seemed to breathe whole, her whole figure expresses chastity, despite the years lived. Life flashed, but did not violate the purity of the soul and body. The woman’s figure is simple in execution and in the prostate, the expression of this chastity evokes genuine sympathy for her restless solitude, helplessness, some incredibly clean and defenseless decrepitude.
The sculptor in this figurine expressed her vision, her understanding of such an advanced age: old age is not the destruction of life, even if the body is destroyed, but preparation for the final transition. Old age as natural, as a natural summing up of the whole life of a person.
The woman covered her eyes, remembering the past years, thought, deeply withdrawing into herself. Her strained arms, shoulders, bent under the weight of years lived, say a lot. And it seems that all wrinkles on the body and on the face are about to be smoothed out, the wheel of life and death will turn and the old woman will again become a baby, about to be ready to be born again in this world.
Gauguin Pictures With Names