Falling Man [Homme nu tombant] by Aimé-Jules Dalou (1897-1902). Bronze with a dark brown patina and light brown highlights. Height: 6¼ inches (16cm). Signed “DALOU.” Stamped “AA Hébrard Cire Perdue.” Robert Bowman, London. Photograph by Julian Jans. Another view. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

Commentary by Robert Bowman

The present model was conceived as part of Dalou’s monumental work, the Triumph of Silenus. This masterful neo-baroque group was conceived in 1884 and exhibited at the Paris Salon in plaster in 1885.

In 1893 the work was purchased by the French State and the monument was cast in bronze and installed at the Jardin du Luxembourg, where it remains to this day.

The work depicts Silenus, an older companion and sometimes teacher of Dionysius, the Greek god of wine. We see the old Satyr sitting on top of a horse, surrounded and supported by a melee of intertwined and half clothed figures. It is under Silenus’ right foot, which is raised as he leans back on the horse, that the figure of the Falling Man emerges.

Seen as an independent figure here, Dalou demonstrates his remarkable ability to translate weight and movement into a static object. The man careers forward, eyes wide open and the stretched skin on his torso reveals his ribs below.

Robert Bowman has most generously given permission to use in the Victorian Web information, images, and text from his catalogues. The copyright on text and images from these catalogues remains, of course, with him. Readers should consult the website of the Robert Bowman Gallery to obtain information about recent exhibitions and to order catalogues. [GPL]


Aimé-Jules Dalou (1897-1902). Online exhibition catalogue. London: Bowman Sculpture, 2014. Web. 29 November 2014.

Last modified 29 November 2014