41
41
Auguste Rodin
LE BAISER (MOYEN MODÈLE DIT "TAILLE DE LA PORTE")
Estimate
600,000800,000
LOT SOLD. 800,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
41
Auguste Rodin
LE BAISER (MOYEN MODÈLE DIT "TAILLE DE LA PORTE")
Estimate
600,000800,000
LOT SOLD. 800,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening

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New York

Auguste Rodin
1840 - 1917
LE BAISER (MOYEN MODÈLE DIT "TAILLE DE LA PORTE")
Inscribed with the signature A. Rodin, with the foundry mark Georges Rudier Fondeur Paris, and © by Musée Rodin 1968; inscribed Epreuve de Madame Leona Cantor on the interior  
Bronze, green black patina
Height: 33 1/2 in.
85.4 cm
Conceived between 1880-81 and cast in an edition of 23.  The present bronze was cast in 1968. 
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To be included in the forthcoming Catalogue critique de l’oeuvre sculpté d’Auguste Rodin being prepared by the Comité Rodin under the archive no. 2002V430B.

Provenance

Musée Rodin, Paris

Mr. and Mrs. B. Gerald Cantor, Beverly Hills (acquired from the above in 1968)

Léona Cantor (by descent from the above)

Contemporary Sculpture Center, Tokyo

Mitsukoshi Ltd., Japan (acquired from the above)

Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1991 

 

Literature

Musée Rodin, catalogue sommaire des oeuvres d'Auguste Rodin et autres oeuvres d'art de la donation Rodin, Hôtel Biron, Paris, 1924, no. 77, illustration of the marble p. 33

Musée Rodin, catalogue sommaire des oeuvres d'Auguste Rodin et autres oeuvres d'art de la donation Rodin, Hôtel Biron, Paris, 1926, no. 77, illustration of the marble p. 31

Georges Grappe, Catalogue du Musée Rodin, Paris, 1944, no. 166, illustration of the marble p. 58

Rainer Maria Rilke, Auguste Rodin, London, 1946, illustration of the marble pl. VI

Jean Charbonneaux, Les sculptures de Rodin, Paris, 1949, discussed p. XII, illustration of another cast pls. 50 and 51

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

Albert E. Elsen, Rodin, New York, 1963, illustration of another cast p. 63

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

Bernard Champigneulle, Rodin, London, 1967, illustrations of the plaster pls. 78 and 79

Robert Descharnes and Jean-François Chabrun, Auguste Rodin, Lausanne, 1967, illustration of the marble p. 131 and a photograph of the studio p. 190

Ellen Landis, Rodin Bronzes from the Collection of B. Gerald Cantor, New York, 1969, no. 16, illustration of another cast

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

Jacques de Caso and Patricia B. Sanders, Rodin's Sculpture, San Francisco, 1977, illustration of another cast p. 148

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

Albert E. Elsen, Auguste Rodin, 1840-1917, New York, 1981, illustration of another cast p. 38

Rodin Rediscovered (exhibition catalogue), National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1981-82, illustration of the marble p. 87

J. Adolphe Schmoll Gen. Eisenwerth, Rodin-Studien, Persönlichkeit-Werke-Wirkung-Bibliographie, Munich, 1983, illustration of the marble p. 281

Rodin (exhibition catalogue), Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Martigny, 1984, no. 33, illustration of another cast p. 83

Albert E. Elsen, The Gates of Hell by Auguste Rodin, Stanford, 1985, fig. 70, illustration of another cast p. 79

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

Anne-Birgitte Fonsmark, Rodin, la collection du Brasseur Carl Jacobsen à la Glyptothèque - et oeuvres apparentées, Copenhagen, 1988, no. 17, illustration of another cast p. 107

Rodin, Eros and Creativity (exhibition catalogue), Kunsthalle, Bremen; Städtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, 1992, illustration of the marble in a photograph of the studio p. 48

Catalogue Note

Le Baiser is one of Rodin's best-known and most highly regarded sculptures.  Originally intended for the left side of his monumental project, The Gates of Hell, the present work portrays a scene from Dante's Inferno.  Here, Rodin depicts the ill-fated lovers, Paolo and Francesca, who were murdered by Francesca's husband and Paolo's brother, Vanni Malatesta. Banished to hell for their adulterous passion, the two lovers were doomed to spend eternity in an embrace. Among all the love stories in Dante's La Divina Commedia, this forbidden liaison, so reminiscent of courtly love, had the greatest resonance for a late 19th century audience. Unlike more austere, contemporary variations of this subject, Rodin 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 of love in 19th century Western art.

 

During the early 1880s when the present work was completed, Rodin was still trying to prove his talent to the Parisian art world.  With Le Baiser, the artist successfully demonstrated his mastery of the sculptural medium and his sensitivity to the human condition.  As explained by Albert E. Elsen, “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).

According to Jérôme Le Blay, 11 bronzes of this sculpture were cast between 1886 and 1915 by the François Rusider, Griffou & Lorge, Gruet and Alexis Rudier Foundries.  Under the supervision of the Musée Rodin, 6 examples were cast by the Alexis Rudier Foundry between 1926 and 1950, and then another 7 examples were cast by the Georges Rudier Foundry between 1955 and 1972.

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening

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New York