Mouvement de danse E
Signed A. Rodin
Inscribed Nº6 and © by Musée Rodin 1956
Bronze with light brown and green patina
Height: 14 1/2'' (36.8 cm)
Conceived circa 1911. This example cast in 1956. There are no lifetime casts of this model. The total edition is just 13 examples .
The American Loie Fuller’s veil dances at the Folies Bergéres in 1892 became the rage of Paris. Her free and spontaneous approach to dancing kindled Rodin’s interest in movement.
During this time, the artist also became a friend with Isadora Duncan, who established a ‘temple’ to the cult of the Greek dance in Bellevue, near the sculptor’s studio in Meudon. Rodin sketched her students’ movements, lamenting, ‘if I had only known such models when I was young. Models who move and whose movement is in close harmony with nature’.
As a result of such explorations, Rodin executed nine figures between 1910–1919 entitled Mouvements de Danse. The plaster versions of these works remain in the collection of the Musée Rodin, which later supervised an edition of 12 casts for each model. The present work belongs to one of such editions. International interest in Rodin’s dancing figures has recently grown thanks to the 2016-2017 exhibition at the Courtauld Institute of Art, Rodin and Dance: the Essence of Movement.
In Mouvement de danse E, the figure is balancing on her left leg while her right hand is holding onto her leg which is raised behind her. Her left arm is lifted upwards perhaps indicating a gesture of triumph or victory. In contrast to Mouvement de danse A, whose body is pulling upwards, the overall pose of Mouvement de danse E is of balance and stability. Despite this difference, it is particularly interesting to note that the torso of these two sculptures come from an identical cast.
A. Rodin, Mouvement de danse A, Musée Rodin, Paris
In fact, Rodin would often assemble such figures from different models, so as to achieve a sense of movement rather than mere anatomic correctness.
International interest in Rodin’s dancing figures has recently grown thanks to the 2016 exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery, Rodin and Dance: the Essence of Movement.
Alexandra Gerstein, eds, Rodin and Dance: The Essenence of Movement (London: 2016), pp. 150-154.
Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, The Bronzes of Rodin: Catalogue of Works in the Musée Rodin Vol. II (Paris: 2007), p. 537.
Joan Vita Millar & Gary Marotta, Rodin: The B. Gerald Cantor Collection (New York: 1986), p. 116, 120, 167.