327
327

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION

Auguste Rodin
MIGNON - VERSION À L'ARRIÈRE ÉVIDÉ
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 211,500 EUR
JUMP TO LOT
327

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION

Auguste Rodin
MIGNON - VERSION À L'ARRIÈRE ÉVIDÉ
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 211,500 EUR
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Art Impressionniste et Moderne

|
Paris

Auguste Rodin
1840 - 1917
MIGNON - VERSION À L'ARRIÈRE ÉVIDÉ
signed A. Rodin, inscribed with the foundry mark Alexis RUDIER FONDEUR PARIS; stamped A. Rodin (in the interior)
bronze, with posterious addition of black wax in the hair
height: 41,1 cm; 16 1/8 in.
Conceived in 1870, this example probably cast circa 1912.
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This work will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Critique de l'oeuvre sculpté d'Auguste Rodin being currently prepared by Galerie Brame & Lorenceau under the direction of Jérôme Le Blay under the archive number 2017-5241B.

Provenance

Jean-Baptiste Renaudin & Anne-Adèle Janin, Château de Taisey, Saint-Rémy (probably)
Thence by descent to the present owner

Literature

Judith Cladel, Rodin, sa vie glorieuse, sa vie inconnue, Paris, 1936, another cast illustrated p. 86
John L. Tancock, The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin, Philadelphia, 1976, no. 80, another cast illustrated pp. 480-86
Jacques de Caso & Patricia B. Sanders, Rodin's sculpture. A critical study of the Spreckels Collection, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco and Tokyo, 1977, another cast no. 53-54
Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, Rodin et le Bronze, Catalogue des œuvres conservées au Musée Rodin, vol. II, Paris, 2007, another cast illustrated p. 518

Catalogue Note

Conceived in 1870, this is one of the artist's first portrait of Rose Beuret, Rodin's long-time companion who became his wife. She was twenty-four years old at the time of his portrait.

This lifetime cast by Rodin was titled “Mignon” a name that at the time would have been immediately associated with one of the main characters in Goethe’s novel “Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship”. Mignon was also the title of an opera by Ambroise Thomas based on Goethe’s novel. Rodin would have had access to both sources. The bust is also considered as one of the first portraits of Rose Beuret, first the companion and then spouse of the artist. The young couple had met initially in 1864, six years before this bust was conceived. Rodin chooses an expressive composition, using hollowed irises to create an expression of intense romantic beauty. 

As the certificate of authenticity states, this lifetime cast was most probably executed for Rodin in 1912. We know of only five lifetime casts of this subject by Rudier and it is thought that they were intended has gifts to members of Rose Beuret’s family. This cast is quite unique as it shows additions of wax in areas of Mignon’s hair, towards the top and reaching around the back. These wax additions were clearly not intended to mask casting faults as there are none but rather could be some sort of creative sculptural modification. Where these added by the great sculptor? It is well known that Rodin used and combined composite materials. One could also question why anyone else would have added these waxed volutes of hair to this bust.  The wax in question is casting wax with shades ranging from black to brown. A forensic analysis of the finger prints visible in the wax, compared to known fingers prints of Rodin, if they exist and it this were at all possible, could perhaps provide some answers. 

Art Impressionniste et Moderne

|
Paris