Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) Salomé
gouache, watercolor, brown and pink ink and pencil on laid paper
6 7/8 x 4 3/8 in. (17.4 x 11.2 cm.)
Executed circa 1895-97
Claude Monet, Giverny (gift from the artist, 1897).
Michel Monet, Giverny (by descent from the above).
Rolande Verneiges, France (gift from the above).
By descent from the above to the present owner.
O. Mirbeau, Jardin des Supplices, Paris, 1899 (illustrated in color on the inside front cover).
Post lot text
Auguste Rodin was a true admirer and loyal friend to Claude Monet, a passionate supporter of his painterly experiments, and an ally in his fght against the constraints of the academic hierarchy in Paris. In a letter dating from 1897, Rodin declared: “the same brotherly feeling, the same love of art, made us friends forever... I have an unwavering admiration for the artist who helped me to understand light, clouds, the sea, the Cathedrals I already loved before but whose beauty was fully revealed to me by your deep and moving interpretation.” (A. Rodin quoted in a letter to C. Monet, 22 September 1897). Revealing the artistic rapport and friendship that united both men, this letter is a moving testimony to the sculptor’s admiration for the painter and his oeuvre. It was this friendship which prompted them to organize a joint exhibition of their work at the Galerie Georges Petit, during the summer of 1889. The present drawing, Salomé, executed a few years after this event, represents the notorious daughter of Herod II, who infamously demanded and received the head of Saint John the Baptist. Often depicted as a dangerously seductive dancer, the symbolic embodiment of the threat of female sexuality, Salomé became a popular subject amongst symbolist artists such as Gustave Moreau during the late nineteenth century. The present work is a study for the lithograph of the frontispiece of Octave Mirbeau’s Jardin des supplices, edited by Ambroise Vollard, and published in 1899. Salomé is unique in Claude Monet’s collection as it was most likely the only drawing given by Rodin to the artist in 1897, along with a number of other bronzes and paintings.