“When a good sculptor models the human body, they not only represent the muscles, but also the life that animates those muscles.”
When sculpting, Rodin started with the torso, the part of the body that - in his opinion - is the origin of all movement. This impressive torso, with extremely defined muscles, was used for three figures in the famous Gates of Hell, of which the ‘falling man’ is the most eye catching. The conspicuously wedge-shaped protrusion served to mount the sculpture. Why Rodin retained this element when the torso was later also exhibited independently is unknown.