Lot 1
  • 1

Auguste Rodin

Estimate
700,000 - 900,000 USD
Sold
936,000 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • Auguste Rodin
  • Eve, petit modèle - modèle à la base carrée et aux pieds plats
  • Inscribed with the signature A. Rodin and with the foundry mark Alexis Rudier Fondeur Paris; stamped with the artist's signature A. Rodin in relief on the underside of the base
  • Bronze, brown patina

Provenance

Musée Rodin, Paris

Edmond Courty, Paris (acquired in an exchange from the above in 1947)

M. Lichenbach, Zürich (acquired from the above in October 1955)

Arthur Stoll, Arlesheim and Corseaux (acquired from the above in October 1955)

Sale: Kornfeld, Bern, June 24, 1994, lot 128

Sale: Sotheby's, New York, May 9, 1995, lot 98

Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

Exhibited

Basel, Kunsthalle, Basler Privatbesitz, 1957, no. 168

Zürich, Sammlung Arthur Stoll. Skulpturen und Gemälde des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts, 1961, no. 11

Lausanne, Exposition Nationale Suisse; Paris, Orangerie des Tuileries, Chefs-d'Oeuvre des Collections suisses de Manet à Picasso, 1964, no. 72

Literature

Georges Grappe, Catalogue du Musée Rodin, Paris, 1929, nos. 39, 40 and 41, illustration of the marble p. 35

Judith Cladel, Auguste Rodin, sa vie glorieuse, sa vie inconnue, Paris, 1936, pp. 142-143

Ionel Jianou and Cécile Goldscheider, Rodin, Paris, 1967, pl. 17, illustration of the plaster, p. 89

John L. Tancock, The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin, Philadelphia, 1976, pp. 148-157, no. 8-5, illustration of another cast p. 154

Albert E. Elsen, The Gates of Hell by Auguste Rodin, Stanford, 1985, no. 64, illustration of another cast, pp. 74-78

Rodin et la Hollande (exhibition catalogue), Musée Rodin, Paris, 1996, no. 62, illustration of another cast p. 275

Raphäel Masson and Véronique Mattiusi, Rodin, Paris, 2004, illustration of another cast p. 39

Catalogue Note

Auguste Rodin's creations for his Gates of Hell project engendered some of the most beloved sculptures in the history of Modern Art. One of the pieces intended for this project was Eve, a sensual portrayal of the mother of humanity sheltering herself in her own embrace.  The pose recalls Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel fresco of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden. Here in a three-dimensional medium, Rodin gives us a stronger sense of the physicality of this biblical figure.   Rodin depicts the woman at the end of innocence, or the moment that she becomes aware of her nakedness.   The intensity of the revelation is captured in the pose that reflects the poignancy of the movement.

Rodin's working model for this sculpture was a life-size plaster that he never finished, allegedly because his model was pregnant and could not endure the long hours of posing.  The artist also completed two  "half-size" versions of the sculpture, sometimes referred to as Petite Eve.  The first version, also known as Eve jeune aux pieds plats, depicts the figure emerging from a roughly hewn base. The second version, the present work, presents the free-standing Eve and was first executed in marble in 1886.  The present sculpture was cast in bronze by the Alexis Rudier foundry in 1947.    

A beautiful description of the Eve was written in 1903 by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke: “It shrivels like burning paper, it becomes stronger, more concentrated, more animated.  That Eve [which] was originally to be placed over The Gates of Hell, stands with her head sunk deeply into the shadow of the arms that draw together over the breast like those of a freezing woman.  The back rounded, the nape of the neck almost horizontal.  She bends forward as though listening to her own body as a new future begins to stir.  And it is as though the gravity of this future weighed upon the sense of the woman and drew her down from the freedom of life, into the deep, humble service of motherhood.”

Fig. 1, Eve in Rodin's studio, 1881. Photograph by Eugène Druet

Fig. 2, Eve in Rodin's studio, 1881. Photograph by Eugène Druet

Fig. 3, Eve in Rodin's studio in front of Le Baiser, 1881. Photograph by Eugène Druet

Fig. 4, Eve, 1903-1904. Photograph by Stephen Haweis and Henry Coles

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