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    Sale 2165

    Impressionist and Modern Day Sale

    7 May 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 213

    Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)

    Danaïde, petit modèle, version type I

    Price Realised  


    Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)
    Danaïde, petit modèle, version type I
    signed and inscribed with foundry mark 'A. Rodin Alexis. Rudier. Fondeur. Paris' (on the front of the base); with raised signature 'A. Rodin' (on the underside)
    bronze with dark brown patina
    Height: 8 7/8 in. (22.5 cm.)
    Length: 15 3/8 in. (39 cm.)
    Conceived in 1885; this bronze version cast in 1930-1940

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    This work will be included in the forthcoming Auguste Rodin catalogue critique de l'oeuvre sculpté currently being prepared by the Comité Rodin at Galerie Brame et Lorenceau under the direction of Jérôme Le Blay under the archive number 2009-2553B.

    One of the most tragic subjects in Rodin's oeuvre is the Danaïde. The Danaïdes were the fifty daughters of Danaus, King of Argos, who were married against their will to the fifty sons of Aegyptus. On their wedding night all, except Hypermestra, killed their bridegrooms. According to Ovid's version of the myth, the Danaïdes were forced to draw water from leaking vessels in Hades as punishment. Closely related to Andromeda, also executed in 1885, Danaïde was originally intended for La Port de l'Enfer, but was not incorporated into the final version.

    Danaïde is a powerful and erotic figural composition; her tightly coiled position heightened the sensuous curves of her body which seem to melt into the rocky surface. Rodin aptly captures the Danaïde's moment of despair and loneliness, her body limp and exhausted by her futile task. Rodin takes care to contrast the surface textures: the smooth surface of her body stands out from the unfinished, craggy surface of the rock-like base. The treatment of her long hair imitates the flowing water from the vessels on the other side of the sculpture.


    Musée Rodin, Paris.
    Anon. sale, Hôtel Drouot, 9 June 1989, lot 32.
    Anon. sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 3 June 1993, lot 9.
    Yomiuri Art Gallery, Paris (acquired at the above sale).
    Spatial Design Consultants, Yokohama (acquired from the above).


    C. Mauclair, Auguste Rodin, The Man, His Ideas, His Works, London, 1905, p. 28 (another cast illustrated).
    G. Grappe, Catalogue du Musée Rodin, Paris, 1927 (marble version illustrated, pl. 77).
    A.E. Elsen, Rodin, New York, 1963 (marble version illustrated, p. 132).
    I. Jianou and C. Goldscheider, Rodin, Paris, 1967 (marble version illustrated, pl. 28).
    J.L. Tancock, The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin, Philadelphia, 1976, pp. 253-254 (marble version illustrated, fig. 35-2, p. 254).
    A.E. Elsen, Rodin Rediscovered, Washington D.C., 1981 (marble version illustrated, pl. 48).
    A.E. Elsen, Rodin's Art, The Rodin Collection of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, New York, 2003, pp. 505-506, no. 154 (another cast illustrated).
    A. Le Normand-Romain, The Bronzes of Rodin, Catalogue of Works in the Musée Rodin, Paris, 2007, vol. I, p. 292, no. S. 606 (another cast illustrated; larger marble version illustrated, pp. 293-294).