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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 the Collection of A. Jerrold Perenchio
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)

Eve, grand modèle—version sans rocher à la base rectangulaire

Details
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)
Eve, grand modèle—version sans rocher à la base rectangulaire
signed 'A. Rodin' (on the top of base); inscribed with foundry mark 'Alexis. Rudier. Fondeur. Paris' (on the back of the base); with raised signature 'A. Rodin' (on the underside)
bronze with brown and green patina
Height: 67 ¾ in. (172 cm.)
Conceived in 1881 and cast between 1925-1935
Provenance
Georges-Eugène Renand, Paris.
Georges Renand, Paris (by descent from the above by 1968); Estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 20 November 1987, lot 31.
Harry Krampf, Paris (acquired at the above sale); sale, Sotheby's, New York, 16 November 1998, lot 58.
Acquired at the above sale by the late owner.
Literature
O. Mirbeau, et al., Auguste Rodin et son œuvre, Paris, 1900, p. 3 (another cast illustrated).
C. Mauclair, Auguste Rodin: The Man, His Ideas, His Works, London, 1905, p. 14 (another cast illustrated, p. 12).
J. Cladel, Auguste Rodin: L'oeuvre et l'homme, Brussels, 1908, p. 159, no. 1899 (another cast illustrated; marble version illustrated).
R.M. Rilke, Auguste Rodin, Leipzig, 1920, nos. 22 and 23 (another cast illustrated).
L. Bénédite, Rodin: A Series of 60 Photogravure Plates, London, 1924, no. XIV (another cast illustrated).
R. Butler, Rodin: The Shape of Genius, London, 1933, pp. 159-62 ,188, 264, 336, 338, 340, 355, 402, 404 and 416 (another cast illustrated, p. 161, no. 66; another cast illustrated in situ at a 1899 Brussels exhibition, p. 338, no. 139).
J. Cladel, Rodin: Sa vie glorieuse et inconnue, Paris, 1936, pp. 142-143.
G. Grappe, Le Musée Rodin, Monaco, 1944, p. 141, no. 44 (another cast illustrated).
M. Aubert, Rodin: Sculptures, Paris, 1952, p. 21 (another cast illustrated).
P.L. Grigau, "Rodin's Eve" in Bulletin of the Detroit Institute, 1953-1954, vol. 33, pp. 14-16 (another cast illustrated, p. 15).
A.E. Elsen, Rodin, New York, 1963, p. 49 (another cast illustrated, p. 51).
A.E. Elsen, Auguste Rodin: Readings on His Life and Work, New Jersey, 1965, p 164.
B. Champigneulle, Rodin, London, 1967, p. 71 (another cast illustrated, no. 23).
I. Jianou and C. Goldscheider, Rodin, Paris, 1967, p. 89 (plaster version illustrated, p. 134, no. 17).
R. Descharnes and J.-F. Chabrun, Auguste Rodin, New York, 1967, pp. 98-99 (another cast illustrated).
J.L. Tancock, Rodin Museum Handbook, Philadelphia, 1969, p. 31, no. 7.
L. Goldscheider, Rodin: Sculpture and Drawing, London, 1970, p. 33, no. 11 (another cast illustrated).
J.L. Tancock, The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin, Philadelphia, 1976, pp. 148-157, no. 8 (another cast illustrated).
J. de Caso and P.B. Sanders, Rodin's Sculpture: A Critical Study of the Spreckels Collection, San Francisco, 1977, pp. 17, 27 and 142-147, no. 21 (plaster version illustrated twice).
A.E. Elsen, In Rodin's Studio: A Photographic Record of Sculpture in the Making, New York, 1980, pp. 24, 31 and 165-166, no. 25 and 26 (another cast illustrated).
C. Vincent, "Rodin at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: A History of the Collection" in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 1981, vol. 38, no. 2 (another cast illustrated).
R. Barletta and M. Carra, Le Post-Impressionisme, Paris, 1981, p. 104 (another cast illustrated).
M. Hanotelle, Paris/Bruxelles: Rodin et Meunier, Paris, 1982, pp. 59 and 202 (another cast illustrated, p. 58)
A.E. Elsen, The Gates of Hell by Auguste Rodin, Stanford, 1985, pp. 74-78 (another cast illustrated, no. 64).
H.H. Arnason, History of Modern Art, New York, 1986, p. 92, no. 123 (marble version illustrated).
N. Barbier, Marbres de Rodin: Collection du Musée, Paris, 1987, p. 198, no. 85 (marble version illustrated).
A. Beausire, Quand Rodin exposait, Paris, 1988, pp. 82-85, 95, 148, 153, 156, 196, 199, 208, 215, 235, 253, 273, 295, 315 and 346 (another cast illustrated in situ at a 1899 Brussels exhibition, p. 153, no. 37).
J.L. Tancock, The Sculptures of Auguste Rodin: The Collection of the Rodin Museum, Philadelphia, 1989, pp. 32, 69 and 148-157, no. 8 (another cast illustrated).
D. Finn and M. Busco, Rodin and His Contemporaries: The Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Collection, New York, 1991, p. 46 (detail of another cast illustrated; marble version illustrated on the cover).
R. Butler, Rodin: The Shape of Genius, New Haven, 1993, pp. 159-162, 188, 336 and 338-340 (plaster version illustrated, p. 161, no. 66; another cast illustrated in situ at a 1899 Brussels exhibition, p. 338, no. 139).
A.E. Elsen, Rodin's Art: The Rodin Collection of the Iris and Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, New York, 2003, pp. 187-191 and 252, no. 41 (another cast illustrated, p. 187).
A.E. Elsen, Rodin's Art: The Rodin Collection of the Iris and Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, Stanford, 2003, p. 4, no. 51 (another cast illustrated; motif illustrated as The Gates of Hell, no. 6).
R. Masson and V. Mattiussi, Rodin, Paris, 2004, pp. 36 and 38 (another cast illustrated, p. 39; detail illustrated, p. 152).
A. Le Normand-Romain, The Bronzes of Rodin: Catalogue of Works in the Musée Rodin, Paris, 2007, vol. I, pp. 339-340 (other casts illustrated, pp. 338-340).
C. Lampert, Rodin, London, 2006, p. 57 (another cast illustrated, p. 68, no. 74; marble version illustrated on the cover and p. 69).

Brought to you by

Max Carter
Max Carter Head of Department

Lot Essay

This work will be included in the forthcoming Auguste Rodin catalogue critique de l'oeuvre sculptée currently being prepared by the Comité Auguste Rodin at Galerie Brame et Lorenceau under the direction of Jérôme Le Blay under the archive number 2014-4347B.

“It withdraws within itself, curling up like burning paper, it becomes stronger, more concentrated, more vital. As in the figure of Eve...the head is sunk deep in the shadow of the arms, and these are drawn across the breast as in a figure shivering with cold. The back is rounded, the neck almost horizontal, she stands leaning forward as if to listen to her own body, in which an unknown future begins to stir...” So wrote the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, Rodin’s secretary for a time and one of his most sensitive interpreters, of the sculptor’s forcefully expressive figure of Eve after the Fall (Auguste Rodin, New York, 2006, p. 15). Racked with shame and remorse, Rodin’s deeply human Eve bends in upon her newly vulnerable body, her shoulders hunched and her arms folded tightly across her chest to shield her naked form. She raises her left hand to her face and averts her head, as though simultaneously shielding against and yielding to God’s wrath. Her right hand clutches fiercely at the flesh just behind her left breast, and her thighs are pressed tightly together, the intensity of her emotion manifest in every muscle and sinew of her voluptuous body. “The truth of my figures,” Rodin explained, “instead of being merely superficial, seems to blossom from within to the outside, like life itself” (quoted in Rodin on Art and Artists, New York, 1983, p. 22).
The gesture of Eve’s shame has a venerable history in western art, beginning with the Venus Pudica type in classical sculpture and extending to Masaccio’s Expulsion from Paradise in the Brancacci Chapel and Michelangelo’s version of the same scene on the Sistine ceiling. Rodin also may have looked for inspiration to Houdon’s sculpture La Frileuse (L’Hiver) of 1783, which depicts a shivering young woman wrapped tightly in a scanty shawl. In its poignant sense of withdrawal and self-abnegation, however, Rodin’s figure looks forward, not backward—to the crouching, penitent Eves of Symbolist Gauguin, the brooding beggars of Picasso’s Blue Period, and early modern sculptures such as Brancusi’s La Prière.
Rodin began work on Eve in 1881, shortly after receiving a coveted commission from the French government a monumental gateway representing Dante’s Inferno. His first version of Eve was life-sized—the scale of the present bronze—and early sketches for the gates show that he originally considered placing the statue either between the two doors or on top of them. By October 1881, however, he had come to view Eve as a pendant to the sculpture now known as Adam, which had been exhibited at the Salon that spring with the title La Création. Rodin successfully petitioned the Ministry of Fine Arts to award him an additional 10,000 francs for the two figures, announcing that he intended to place them on either side of La porte de l’enfer. There, they would represent the tragic predecessors of suffering humanity—Adam, the first man, slowly roused to life, and Eve, in her shame, the source of mankind’s fall from grace.
To pose for the figure of Eve, Rodin enlisted a sensuous, young Italian woman, possibly Adèle Abbruzzesi or her sister Maria. “[She] had sunburned skin, warm, with the bronze reflections of the women of sunny lands,” Rodin recounted. “Her movements were quick and feline, with the lissomeness and grace of a panther; all the strength and splendor of muscular beauty, and that perfect equilibrium, that simplicity of bearing which makes great gesture” (quoted in A.E. Elsen, Rodin’s Art, Oxford, 2003, p. 190).
Midway through Rodin’s work on Eve, however, the young woman became pregnant and stopped coming to pose; the sculptor was forced to suspend his labors on the life-sized statue with parts of the surface—the abdomen, in particular—still rough and uneven. “Without knowing why, I saw my model changing,” he recalled. “I modified my contours, naively following the successive transformations of ever-amplifying forms. One day, I learned she was pregnant; then I understood... It certainly hadn’t occurred to me to take a pregnant woman as my model for Eve; an accident—happy for me—gave her to me, and it aided the character of the figure singularly. But soon, becoming more sensitive, my model found the studio too cold; she came less frequently, then not at all” (quoted in ibid., p. 190).
Rather than abandoning the figure entirely, Rodin decided to re-conceive his Eve at half-scale. In keeping with his working practice at the time, he modeled and finished the sculpture very precisely, highlighting the sensuality of the forms. The Petite Eve proved extremely popular with contemporary collectors, who found it hard to resist the statue’s seductive power, and by the end of the century Rodin had authorized the creation of as many as eight bronzes and fifteen marbles.
The life-sized version of the figure, meanwhile, stood abandoned in the corner of Rodin’s studio until 1897, by which time his views on sculptural completeness had changed profoundly. Now, he realized, the unevenly finished surface lent the sculpture a far greater expressive force than he could originally have imagined, heightening the penitential remorse of the pose and dramatizing the successive stages of Eve’s temptation. “This development of the figure, this manner of modeling,” Antoinette Le Normand-Romain has written, “became the subject of the work and reflected the sculptor’s endless search for a form that would be in perfect unison with a concept of sculpture, itself in perpetual evolution” (Rodin, New York, 2014, p. 256).
Without re-touching the plaster at all, Rodin had the statue cast in bronze and exhibited at the 1899 Paris Salon, where it occupied a privileged position in the middle of the rotunda. In 1901, he commissioned Bourdelle to carve the life-sized Eve in smooth marble, but found that he preferred the more rugged surface of original sculpture, as seen in the present bronze cast. “I could give you another version of the large Eve, a finished version after the stone,” he wrote to a collector in 1907, “but it is, in my view, less expressive than the other, which is less finished but more vigorous” (quoted in A. Le Normand-Romain, op. cit., 2007, p. 348).
Out of the twenty-five recorded casts of this grand scale Eve, twenty-two can be found in public institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museé d'Orsay, Paris and Museé Rodin, Paris among others.
Out of the twenty-five recorded casts of this grand scale Eve, twenty two can be found in public institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museé d’Orsay, Paris and Museé Rodin, Paris; Museum Bojmans van Beunigen, Netherlands; Museum Folwang, Essen; Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Denmark; National Museum of Wales, Cardiff; Toledo Museum of Art; Frankfurt Stadelisches Kunstintitut; Detroit Institute of Arts and The National Museum of Western art, Tokyo among others.

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