Lot 104
  • 104

Auguste Rodin

120,000 - 180,000 USD
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  • Auguste Rodin
  • Inscribed Rodin, stamped with the foundry mark Alexis Rudier Fondeur Paris and with the raised signature A. Rodin on the interior
  • Bronze, dark brown patina
  • Height: 25 1/2 in.
  • 64.4 cm


Galerie Sayag, Oran, Algeria
Private Collection (acquired from the above in 1950)
Private Collection, Paris (by descent from the above)


Georges Grappe, Catalogue du Musée Rodin, Paris, 1929, no. 20 illustration of the plaster p. 31
Marcel Aubert, Rodin Sculptures, Paris, 1952, illustrations of a larger cast pp. 11-13
Cécile Goldscheider, Rodin, Paris, 1962, illustrations of another cast pp. 54-55
Albert E. Elsen, Rodin, New York, 1963, p. 20, illustration of a larger cast
Ionel Jianou & Cécile Goldscheider, Rodin, Paris, 1967 illustrations of a larger cast pls. 6 & 7
Robert Descharnes and Jean-François Chabrun, Auguste Rodin, Paris, 1967, illustrations of another cast, pp. 53 and 54.
John L. Tancock, The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin, Philadelphia, 1976, illustrations of the larger cast pp. 343 & 345
Cécile Goldscheider, Auguste Rodin, Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre sculpté, Lausanne, 1989, vol. I, no. 95d, catalogued p. 116
The Iris & Gerald B. Cantor Foundation, Rodin, A Magnificent Obsession, London, 2001, illustration of another cast p. 28

Catalogue Note

Rodin was greatly inspired by seeing the work of Michelangelo during his visit to Italy in 1875, an influence which is particularly apparent in Age d’Airain.  On his return from Italy, Rodin settled in Belgium and chose as his model for this work a Belgian soldier named August Neyt.  He worked with his model for eighteen months, finally completing the sculpture in December 1876.  In January 1877 he sent the work, titled Le Vaincu, to the exhibition at the Cercle Artistique de Bruxelles.  The sculpture was well received, but there were some accusations that Rodin had modeled it directly from the human figure.

That same year Rodin sent the work to the Paris Salon with the new title Age d’Airain, but almost immediately the accusation was again levied that the plaster was a cast made from a living model.  There was even a question of excluding it from the Salon and a committee of enquiry was set up.  For a long time this committee came to no conclusion and it was only after evidence was heard from sculptor friends of Rodin, who had seen him at work and had written to the Under Secretary of State, that the matter was happily concluded a few months later.  By way of compensation, the French State acquired a life size bronze cast in 1880.  Subsequently two reductions of Age d’Airain were made, the present size and one 41 inches high.