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Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)


Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)
signed 'A. Rodin' (on the left side), and stamped with foundry mark 'ALEXIS. RUDIER. FONDEUR. PARIS.' (on the lower left edge); with raised signature 'A. Rodin' (on the inside)
bronze with brown and green patina
Length: 15½ in. (39.4 cm.)
Conceived in 1885; this bronze version cast before 1952
Felix Landau.
Acquired from the above by the present owner, October 1965.
C. Mauclair, Auguste Rodin--The Man--His Ideas--His Works, London, 1905, p. 28 (another cast illustrated).
G. Grappe, Le Musée Rodin, Paris, 1927, no. 77 (marble version illustrated).
A.E. Elsen, Rodin, New York, 1963, p. 132 (marble version illustrated).
I. Jianou and G. Goldscheider, Rodin, Paris, 1967, p. 90 (marble version illustrated).
J.L. Tancock, The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin, Philadelphia, 1976, pp. 253-256, no. 35-2 (marble version illustrated).
A.E. Elsen, Rodin Rediscovered, Washington, D.C., 1981, pl. 48 (marble version illustrated).

Lot Essay

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 Danaïdes' 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.

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