Lot 4
  • 4

Auguste Rodin

700,000 - 900,000 USD
1,370,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • Auguste Rodin
  • Danaïde, grand modèle
  • Inscribed with the signature A. Rodin
  • Patinated plaster
  • Length: 26 in.
  • 66 cm


Camille Mauclair, Paris (acquired from the artist circa 1901)

Dr. X, Paris (acquired as a gift from the above at Spring 1944)

Private Collection, France (acquired from the above)

Galerie Tanagra, Paris

Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1983


Léon Maillard, Études sur quelques artistes originaux. Auguste Rodin statuaire, Paris, 1899, pp. 124-125, 130

Rainer Maria Rilke, Auguste Rodin, Berlin, 1928, pp. 74-75

John L. Tancock, The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin, Philadelphia, 1976, illustration of a marble version p. 254

Rodin (exhibition catalogue), Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Martigny, 1984, illustration of a bronze version p. 74

Catherine Lampert, Rodin, Sculpture and Drawings, Milan, 1986, illustration of a bronze version p. 207

Rodin, The Gerald B. Cantor Collection (exhibition catalogue), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1986, illustration of a bronze version p. 32

Patrice J. Marandel, "Rodin's Thinker: Notes on the Early History of the Detroit Cast," Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts, vol. 62, no. 4, Detroit, 1987, pp. 36, 47-49

Alain Beausire, Quand Rodin exposait, Paris, 1988, index

Anne-Brigitte Fonsmark, Rodin. La collection du brasseur Carl Jacobsen à la Glypothèque-et oeuvres apparentées (exhibition catalogue), Ny Carlsberg Glypotek, Copenhagen, 1988, pp. 116-117

Patrice J. Marandel, "Rodin's Thinker: Notes on the Early History of the Detroit Cast," Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts, vol. 63, no. 3/4, Detroit, 1988, pp. 37, 48

Claude Monet - Auguste Rodin (exhibition catalogue), Musée Rodin, Paris, 1989, illustration of a marble version p. 102

Genius Rodin: Eros und Kreativität (exhibition catalogue), Kunsthalle, Bremen & Städtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, 1991-92, illustration of a marble version pl. 30

Mary L. Levkoff, Rodin in his Time: The Cantor Gifts to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 1994, no. 35, illustration of another version p. 114

Anne-Brigitte Fonsmark, Manet, Gauguin, Rodin... Chefs-d'oeuvre de la Ny Carlsberg Glypotek de Copenhague (exhibition catalogue), Ny Carlsberg Glypotek, Copenhagen, 1995-96, no. 45

Rodin en 1900, L'exposition de l'Alma (exhibition catalogue), Musée du Luxembourg, Paris, 2001, no. 79, illustration of a plaster version p. 211

Albert Edward Elsen, Rodin's Art: The Rodin Collection of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, New York, 2003, no. 154, another cast listed

Émilie Silvoz, La Collection Rodin du musée Faure d'Aix-les-Bains, Grenoble, 2004, no. 10, another cast listed

Raphaël Masson & Véronique Mattiussi, Rodin, Paris, 2004, illustration of a marble version p. 185

Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, Rodin et le bronze. Catalogue des oeuvres conservées au musée Rodin, vol. 1, Paris, 2007, listed p. 292, illustrations of the marbles and bronzes pp. 292-294 

Catalogue Note

Danaïde, one of Rodin's most famous images, exemplifies the dramatic beauty of the human anatomy.  The sculpture portrays a scene from the Greek legend of Danoas, king of Argos, whose fifty daughters were condemned for eternity to fill a bottomless vessel with water as punishment for executing their husbands.   For this sculpture, Rodin renders one of the women at the moment she falls to the ground, breaking her water vessel in absolute dispair.  Félix Bracquemond, who also owned a plaster of this sculpture, praised the artist for the vividness of his sculptural rendition: "It's pure Correggio.  In fact, your naiad seems to be painted and colored rather than sculpted, but in my eyes that proves that the colors yellow, red, and blue are indeed unnecessary to make 'color.'  The modeling is everything and this colored relief is indeed pure Rodin" (quoted in A. Le Normand-Romain, op. cit., p. 294).

In her analysis of Danaïde, Mary L. Levkoff has written the following: "It is not hard to imagine the tears wet in frustration by Rodin's Danaïd streaming away with the flood that leaks from her broken vessel, washing her hair, with its water lines, down over the margin of the sculpture.  She is so heavily weighted by her task and engulfed by despair that she is clearly incapable of escaping her fate.  Her body, one of the sculpture's most beautifully stylized anatomies, is bound painfully to the shape of the rock.  The composition is among Rodin's finest achievements in the resolution of physiological distortion and material coherence" (M. L. Levkoff, op. cit., p. 115). 

Rodin originally intended to feature this sculpture as a part of his Gates of Hell, but he left it as a singular composition. In 1889, he created a large marble version, now in the collection of the Helsinki Ateneum Art Museum, which he intended for the casting of his bronzes.  This sculpture is distinctive in that it has three vertical grooves in the base to the figure's left.  The present plaster was cast from this large marble in 1901.

According to the artist's correspondence, Rodin gave this plaster to his friend Camille Mauclair around May 1901.  Mauclair (1872-1945) was a poet and critic, whose writings on social reforms profoundly impressed Rodin around the turn of the century.  Mauclair later gave the work to his personal doctor at the end of the Second World War.