The Age of Bronze Sculpture was inspired by a young Belgian soldier, Auguste Ney, and was devoid of any element that would shed light on the subject’s identity. The untitled work was exhibited at the Cercle Artistique, Brussels, in 1877, then, entitled The Age of Bronze, at the Salon in Paris, where it caused a scandal. This statue is also known as The Awakening Man or The Vanquished One, and recalls one of the early ages of mankind. There was originally a spear in the left hand, but Rodin decided to suppress the weapon so as to free the arm of any attribute and infuse the gesture with a new liberality. Rodin was accused of having used a life cast of his sitter, and he had to prove that the quality of his sculpture’s modelling came from a thorough study of profiles, not from a life cast. His critics eventually recognized that the sculptor was innocent of any trickery. The scandal, however, did draw attention to Rodin and earned him the commission for The Gates of Hell in 1880.