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This sculpture derives from a full-length statue made as a memorial for the French socialist Louis-Auguste Blanqui. Because Blanqui spent much of his life imprisoned for his revolutionary activities, the complete monument showed a woman in chains. Maillol later reworked the figure to make this torso. In this fragmentary form it echoes the classical heritage of Greek art, and by extension the qualities of purity, energy and democratic freedom associated with ancient Athens and with Blanqui’s struggle.

August 2004