AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917)
AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917)
AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917)
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AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917)
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PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN ESTATE
AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917)

Eternel Printemps, second état, 4ème réduction dite aussi 'no. 2'

Details
AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917)
Eternel Printemps, second état, 4ème réduction dite aussi 'no. 2'
signed 'Rodin' (on the right side of the rock); inscribed '19 T' (on the underside)
bronze with dark brown patina
Height: 9 ¾ in. (24.7 cm.)
Conceived in 1884, this reduction in 1898; this bronze version cast between 1900 and 1905
Provenance
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, New York, 12 May 1999, lot 485.
Private collection, New Jersey (acquired at the above sale).
Gift from the above to the family of the present owner.
Literature
L. Maillard, Auguste Rodin, Statuaire, Paris, 1899, no. 16 (another version illustrated).
G. Grappe, Catalogue de Musée Rodin, Paris, 1927, no. 69 (another version illustrated).
G. Grappe, Le Musée Rodin, Paris, 1947, p. 141 (another version illustrated, pl. 56).
B. Champigneulle, Rodin, Paris, 1967, pp. 91 and 280 (another version illustrated, pp. 92-93, pls. 34-35).
R. Descharnes and J.-F. Chabrun, Auguste Rodin, London, 1967, p. 135 (another version illustrated).
I. Jianou and C. Goldscheider, Rodin, Paris, 1967, p. 96 (another version illustrated, pls. 56-57).
J.L. Tancock, The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin: The Collection of the Rodin Museum, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, 1976, pp. 241-247, no. 32 (other versions illustrated, pp. 242, 243 and 246).
M. Busco and D. Finn, Rodin and His Contemporaries: The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collection, New York, 1991, p. 227 (another version illustrated).
A.E. Elsen and R.F. Jamison, Rodin’s Art: The Rodin Collection of Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, New York, 2003, pp. 494-497, no. 148 (another cast illustrated, pp. 494-495; another version illustrated, p. 496).
A. Le Normand-Romain, The Bronzes of Rodin: Catalogue of Works in the Musée Rodin, Paris, 2007, vol. I, p. 334 (another cast illustrated; other versions illustrated, pp. 331-337).
Post lot text
This work will be included in the forthcoming Auguste Rodin catalogue critique de l'oeuvre sculpté currently being prepared by the Comité Auguste Rodin at Galerie Brame et Lorenceau under the direction of Jérôme Le Blay under the archive number 2021-6455B.

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Sarah El-Tamer
Sarah El-Tamer Associate Vice President, Specialist, Head of Day Sale

Lot Essay

L’éternel printemps is one of Rodin's most popular compositions and one of the sculptor's greatest commercial successes. Also titled phyr et la Terre and Cupidon et Psyché (there are small Cupid's wings on the back of the male figure), it was exhibited at the Salon of 1897. It was originally intended as a figural grouping for La porte de l'enfer, but as the tone of the commission evolved into a more tragic representation, the amorous couple was not included in the final version. As with many of his great figural groupings, Rodin developed the characters from earlier works. The female figure is based on Torse d'Adèle, which appears on the top left corner of the tympanum of La porte de l'enfer.
The present work may reflect the emotional impact of Rodin's personal life, as he sculpted the blissful embrace while involved in an affair with the beautiful sculptor, Camille Claudel, who had entered his studio as a pupil the previous year. This new wellspring of romantic passion may have further induced Rodin to abandon the politesse of allegorical convention and instead depict romantic love in deeply intimate, individual terms. Rodin also claimed that the idea for the present bronze came to him while listening to Beethoven's sublime Second Symphony. He confided much later to Jeanne Russell, the daughter of the Australian painter John Russell: "God, how [Beethoven] must have suffered to write that! And yet, it was while listening to it for the first time that I pictured Eternal Springtime, just as I have modeled it since" (quoted in The Bronzes of Rodin, exh. cat., Musée Rodin, Paris, 2007, p. 336).
Animated by the dazzling play of light on the surface and the sweeping upward movement of the man, the couple seems ready to take flight. The dynamic arrangement of the bodies is characteristic of Rodin's innovative treatment of figures at this time. The female figure is leaning against the tree-like formation behind her and Rodin deliberately preserves the enigma of whether or not she has indeed emerged from it. It is unsurprising that collectors have always been attracted to the potent combination of physical lyricism and romanticism that defines this work.

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