For one thing…this amazing work from the 1st or 2nd c. CE, a copy after a Greek original. Called The Dying Gaul, the sculpture was discovered in Rome in the early 17th c. It was first mentioned in writing in 1623…around the time Bernini was working for Cardinal Scipio Borghese.
This is the kind of work that also inspired Donatello and Michelangelo, although they never saw this particular sculpture. But Rodin knew it, as well as every other great sculptor in the Western tradition.
It’s on exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. until March 16, 2014.