359
359

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, FRANCE

Auguste Rodin
LES MÉTAMORPHOSES D'OVIDE, MODÈLE AU TETRE SIMPLE
Estimate
350,000500,000
JUMP TO LOT
359

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, FRANCE

Auguste Rodin
LES MÉTAMORPHOSES D'OVIDE, MODÈLE AU TETRE SIMPLE
Estimate
350,000500,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York

Auguste Rodin
1840 - 1917
LES MÉTAMORPHOSES D'OVIDE, MODÈLE AU TETRE SIMPLE
Inscribed A Rodin and dedicated A mon ami Rollinat son admirateur Rodin
Bronze
Length: 15 in.
38.1 cm
Conceived before 1889; this example cast between 1892-99.
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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 2000-171B.

Provenance

Maurice Rollinat, Fresselines (a gift from the artist)
Georges Haviland, Paris (acquired from the family of the above in 1903 and sold: Galeries Georges Petit, Paris, June 2, 1932, lot 75)
Private Collection, France
Sale: Couturier-Nicolay, Paris, March 14, 1969, lot 49
Harold B. Weinstein, New York
Sale: Christie's, New York, May 8, 2000, lot 23
Galerie Jan Krugier, Ditescheim & Cie, Geneva
Sale: Tajan, Paris, December 1, 2005, lot 11
Galerie Jan Krugier, Ditescheim & Cie, Geneva
Acquired from the above in 2008

Literature

Georges Grappe, Le Musée Rodin, Paris, 1944, illustration of another cast pl. 66
Marcel Aubert, Rodin Sculptures, Mulhouse, 1952, illustration of another cast p. 47
Ionel Jianou & Cécile Goldscheider, Rodin, Paris, 1967, illustration of another cast p. 91
John L. Tancock, The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin, Philadelphia, 1976, illustrations of another cast p. 260 & the marble version fig. 36-1
Albert Edward Elsen, Rodin's Art, The Rodin Collection of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts at Stanford University, New York, 2003, no. 68, illustration of another cast pp. 256-57
Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, The Bronzes of Rodin, Catalogue of Works in the Musée Rodin, vol. II, Paris, 2007, no. S.1145, cited p. 516, illustrations of another cast pp. 516-17
Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, Rodin, Paris, 2013, illustration of the marble version p. 138
L'Enfer selon Rodin (exhibition catalogue), Musée Rodin, Paris, 2016, illustration of another cast p. 206

Catalogue Note

Conceived during the most prolific period of Rodin’s career, Les Metamorphoses d’Ovide depicts a passionate embrace between two lovers, an essential example of a period in which love and eroticism played a pronounced role in the artist’s work. It was during this period that Rodin met his mistress, Camille Claudel, an experience that at once caused great suffering and great passion. Rodin incorporated the dynamic figural group of  the present work into the top right corner of the cornice of his masterpiece, Porte de l'Enfer.

The present work is one of many tributes Rodin would make to classical mythology. Derived from the Roman poet Ovid’s best-known work—the Metamorphoses. Rather than replicate any particular legend, the sculpture represents more generally many of the lovers captured in Ovid’s masterpiece, and is closely related to other sculptures such as Daphnis and Lycenion (1885) and Cupid and Psyche (1886), also from the Metamorphoses.

During this period in Rodin’s practice, there is a marked increase in the eroticism of his art and a corresponding growth in the daring movement of the poses, as he began treating love in human terms rather than allegorically. Striking in the spontaneous beauty of its closed form, its intensely lyrical eroticism and the magic of a fugitive gesture, the momentary touching of the two thumbs takes on great emotionality and sensuality. A reflection of the artist's studio practice, where he allowed the models to move freely and independently, Rodin himself proclaimed, "sculpture does not need to be original, what it needs is life... I used to think that movement was the chief thing in sculpture and in all I did it was what I tried to attain... Grief, joy, thoughts—in our art all becomes action" (quoted in Ionel Jianou & Cècile Goldscheider, op. cit., pp. 19-20).

This example is one of four known lifetime casts by the artist.

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