• Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
Click image to enlarge

Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze)

Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Signed Rodin
Unique patinated terracotta
Height: 8½" (21.2 cm)

Conceived between 1875 and 1876, cast in this unique reduction circa 1917.




Provenance:

Promised gift of Rodin to Auguste Neyt, the sitter for the model;

Léonce Bénédite, executor of Rodin’s estate;


Mr and Mrs Auguste Neyt, 1924; thence by descent;

Private Collection, USA.

This unique terracotta bust, conceived between 1875 and 1876 and cast in this reduction in 1917, is the head of the controversial figure known as the Age of Bronze. When Rodin first exhibited the work in 1877, the quality of the modelling was such that he was accused of having cast it directly from life - in other words, of taking a mould of a living human body and casting in bronze. Indeed, Rodin had to enlist the help of the Belgian soldier who sat as model to give evidence on behalf of him. In spite of the scandal, Rodin gained two significant benefits from this initial rejection. First, the work became notorious, thus increasing his reputation; second, this incident influenced the rest of his career, as the artist never made a life-size work again, opting instead for over life-size or smaller than life-size modelling which characterised his production.

Rodin was re-united with his model for the sculpture, Auguste Neyt, 30 years after he sat for the piece. To commemorate the meeting, Rodin promised Neyt a terracotta bust of the Age of Bronze. The gift was finally received by the model in 1924 from the executor of Rodin’s estate, Léonce Bénédite.

The work is accompanied with the original correspondence from Rodin, Rose Beuret (the artist’s partner) and Léonce Bénédite, to Auguste Neyt, as well as the draft of a letter Neyt himself sent to Bénédite upon receiving the gift. The correspondence strengthens the historical significance of the work, and testifies to the artist’s and model’s relationship in the early 20th Century.

There are no other versions of this terracotta in private or public collections.

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