46
46

PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTOR

Auguste Rodin
LE BAISER, 3ÈME RÉDUCTION
Estimate
800,0001,200,000
JUMP TO LOT
46

PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTOR

Auguste Rodin
LE BAISER, 3ÈME RÉDUCTION
Estimate
800,0001,200,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York

Auguste Rodin
1840 - 1917
LE BAISER, 3ÈME RÉDUCTION
Inscribed Rodin and with the foundry mark F. Barbedienne, Fondeur
Bronze
Height: 15 5/8 in.
39.8 cm
Conceived in 1886, the reduced version conceived in 1901 and this
cast executed on April 7, 1909.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

This work will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Critique de l'oeuvre sculpté d'Auguste Rodin currently being prepared by Galerie Brame & Lorenceau under the direction of Jérôme Le Blay under the archive number 2007VI254B.

Provenance

Private Collection, France (acquired circa 1970 and sold: Christie's,
New York, May 9, 2000, lot 138)
Private Collection, United States (acquired at the above sale)
Sale: Sotheby's, Paris, December 13, 2007, lot 57
Acquired at the above sale

Literature

Rainer Maria Rilke, Auguste Rodin, London, 1917, illustration of another cast pl. 6

Georges Grappe, Catalogue du Musée Rodin, Paris, 1927, nos. 91-92, p. 47, illustration of the marble version no. 91

Georges Grappe, Catalogue du Musée Rodin, Paris, 1944, no. 71, illustration of the marble version

Georges Grappe, Le Musée Rodin, Paris, 1947, illustration of the marble version, pl. 71

Cécile Goldscheider, Rodin, sa vie, son oeuvre, son héritage, Paris, 1962, illustration of the marble version, p. 49

Albert Edward Elsen, Rodin (exhibition catalogue), The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1963, illustration of the larger bronze version p. 63

Bernard Champigneulle, Rodin, London, 1967, nos. 78-79, illustrations of the marble version pp. 162-163

Robert Descharnes & Jean-François Chabrun, Auguste Rodin, Lausanne, 1967, illustration of the larger marble version p. 131

Ionel Jianou & Cécile Goldscheider, Rodin, Paris, 1967, illustration of the marble version pls. 54-55

Ludwig Goldscheider, Rodin Sculptures, London, 1970, no. 49, illustration of the marble version, p. 121

John L. Tancock, The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin, Philadelphia, 1976, illustration of the marble version p. 77

Jacques de Caso & Patricia B. Sanders, Rodin's Sculpture (exhibition catalogue), The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, 1977, illustrations of another cast pp. 148 & 150

Albert Edward Elsen, In Rodin's Studio, A Photographic Record of Sculpture in the Making, Ithaca, 1980, illustration of the marble on the cover

Hélène Pinet, Rodin, sculpteur et les photographes de son temps, Paris, 1985, no. 34, illustration of the marble p. 46

Nicole Barbier, Marbres de Rodin: Collection du Musée Rodin, Paris, 1987, no. 79, illustration of the marble version p. 185

Frederic V. Grunfeld, Rodin, A Biography, New York, 1987, pp. 187-190, 221-222, 260, 262, 275-276, 281-282, 342, 373-374, 400, 457 and 577

Pierre Kjellberg, Les bronzes du XIXe siècle, Paris, 1987, illustration of another cast p. 585

David Finn & Marie Busco, Rodin and his Contemporaries: The Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Collection, New York, 1991, illustrations of another cast pp. 60-61

Albert Edward Elsen, Rodin's Art, The Rodin Collection of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts at Stanford University, New York, 2003, no. 49, illustration of another cast pp. 214-215

Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, The Bronzes of Rodin, Catalogue of Works in the Musée Rodin, vol. I, Paris, 2007, illustration of another cast p. 161

Catalogue Note

Le Baiser is one of Rodin's best-known and most highly regarded sculptures.  Originally intended for the left side of The Gates of Hell, the present work portrays another scene from Dante's Inferno. These are the ill-fated lovers, Paolo and Francesca, who were murdered by Francesca's husband and Paolo's brother, Vanni Malatesta. Banished for their adulterous passion, the two lovers were doomed to spend eternity in an embrace. Among all the love stories in Dante's La Commedia, this forbidden liaison, so reminiscent of courtly love, had the greatest resonance for a late 19th-century audience and appeared in seminal works by artists such as Gustave Doré (fig. 1). Unlike more austere, contemporaneous variations of this subject, Le Baiser depicts the lovers in the throws of a passionate kiss.  The sensuality of this work, enhanced by the tenderness of the figures' kiss, has made Le Baiser one of the most celebrated images in Western art. Albert  Elsen describes the novel gesture of Rodin's Le Baiser: "In The Kiss, which could have been made by 1881, Rodin was still trying to show the official art world that he could compose with the best of the Prix de Rome winners. In fact, he not only outdid them in the sincerity of the lovers'expressions of mutual awareness and love, he even revived an old gesture of sexual appropriation by having the more assertive Francesca sling her leg over that of the hesitant Paolo" (Albert E. Elsen, The Gates of Hell by Auguste Rodin, Stanford, 1985, p. 78).

The poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote of this work in 1903, "The spell of the great group of the girl and the man that is named 'The Kiss' lies in this understanding distribution of life. In this group waves flow through the bodies, a shuddering ripple, a thrill of strength, and a presaging of beauty. This is the reason why one beholds everywhere on these bodies the ecstasy of this kiss. It is like a sun that rises and floods all with its light" (R. M. Rilke, Rodin, London, 1946, p. 26).

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

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New York