• Étude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Étude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Étude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Étude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Étude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Étude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Étude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Étude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Étude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Étude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Étude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Étude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Étude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Étude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Étude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
Click image to enlarge

Étude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret)

Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Signed A. Rodin
Inscribed with the foundry mark A Rudier. Fondeur Paris
Bronze with dark brown patina and lighter brown highlights
Height: 4 3/4" (12 cm)

Conceived in 1910; this example cast between 1931-45. Two examples cast by the Alexis Rudier foundry during Rodin's lifetime, and then 8 more examples cast by the Musée between 1931-1952. Another 8 examples cast by the Georges Rudier foundry between 1955-1958.
Comité Rodin certificate available on request


Provenance
Musée Rodin, Paris
Private collection, California
Fine Art Gallery of New Orleans
Private collection, US (acquired from the above in 1989)


The conception of the present piece, known as the Etude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret), relates to another famous work by Rodin, known as La Cathédrale (The Cathedral). The works were conceived two years apart from each other, in 1910 and 1918 respectively, and relate to Rodin’s fascination with hands and their sculptural representation.

Rodin, La Cathédrale, marble, 1910, Musée Rodin

The artist started focusing on this subject perhaps as a direct result of the numerous studies conducted by the English photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1940), whose research on animals and figures in motion represented a great source of inspiration for many 19th-century artists. Rodin is attested to receiving a copy of Muybridge’s publication, Animal Locomotion, in 1887.

Photographs of the single hands in Eadweard Muybridge’s Animal Locomotion.

Rather than focusing on the study of a single hand, the present work demonstrates the artist’s reuse of single body parts to create an effective, condensed narrative, which characterises both the symbolist and modernist aspects of his production.

Two right hands are placed one in front of the other, almost mirroring each other. Rodin added a cylindrical object in the finished version of the piece so as to signify the impossibility of the encounter between the two. In the present study, however, the lack of such an object creates a different form of tension, which is heightened by the space between the two.

A.Rodin, The Secret, 1910 (cast in 1925), Rodin Museum, Philadelphia

It is through such a space that the present work displays the evocative, almost mystic, power of its companion piece, The Cathedral. Rodin had been so fascinated by the Gothic architecture of French churches that he wrote and illustrated a book on the subject, Les Cathédrales de France (French Cathedrals), in 1914. In the artist’s own words, the aim of the book was ‘to inspire a love for this great art, to come to the rescue of as much of it as still remains intact; to save for our children the great lesson of this past which the present misunderstands. In this desire I strive to awaken intellects and hearts to understanding and to love.’

In his Cathedral, the artist channelled his understanding and love of the art professed in the book, filtering the great vertical lines and dizzying empty spaces that characterise Gothic architecture through his symbolic representation of two mirroring hands. Indeed, the piece’s upper thrust and interplay of empty spaces ultimately connects it with the present Study for the Secret.

Rodin cast this model twice in his lifetime, in 1916 and 1917 respectively; the latter was commissioned by the British painter John Lavery and was exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum exhibition in memory of the artist, organised in London in December 1917. The Musée Rodin continued editing the piece with the Alexis and Georges Rudier foundries, each casting the model 8 times. Archival records testify that the present model was cast by the former during the first period of production, between 1931 and 1945.

Works by Auguste Rodin

Le Penseur (The Thinker), Petit Modèle - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Le Penseur (The Thinker), Petit Modèle


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Danaide, petit modèle, version type III  - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Danaide, petit modèle, version type III


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Désespoir de la Porte (Despair, from the Gates of Hell) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Désespoir de la Porte (Despair, from ...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Mouvement de danse F - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Mouvement de danse F


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Mouvement de danse E - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Mouvement de danse E


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Le Baiser, (The Kiss) 3rd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Le Baiser, (The Kiss) 3rd Reduction


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th Reduction


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Jardinière des Titans (Vase of the Titans) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Jardinière des Titans (Vase of the Ti...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Étude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Étude pour le Secret (Study for the S...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Torse Masculin (Torso of Je Suis Belle)  - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Torse Masculin (Torso of Je Suis Belle)


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Buste de Victor Hugo (Bust of Victor Hugo) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Buste de Victor Hugo (Bust of Victor ...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Éternelle Idole (Eternal Idol), Moyen Modèle - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Éternelle Idole (Eternal Idol), Moyen...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Nijinsky - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Nijinsky


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

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 ...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Éternelle Idole (Eternal Idol), Petit Modèle - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Éternelle Idole (Eternal Idol), Petit...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Le Baiser (The Kiss), 2nd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Le Baiser (The Kiss), 2nd Reduction


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

L'Éternel Printemps (Eternal Spring), 2nd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

L'Éternel Printemps (Eternal Spring),...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th Reduction


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Balzac, étude type c (buste) 3ème version, grand modèle - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Balzac, étude type c (buste) 3ème ver...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Faunesse Debout (Standing Faunesse), Version au Rocher Simple - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Faunesse Debout (Standing Faunesse), ...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

L'Éternel Printemps (Eternal Spring), 3rd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

L'Éternel Printemps (Eternal Spring),...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Fugit Amor, Large Model, Second Version - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Fugit Amor, Large Model, Second Version


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Masque de l'Homme au Nez Cassé (Mask of A Man With A Broken Nose) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Masque de l'Homme au Nez Cassé (Mask ...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Maquette for the Burghers of Calais - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Maquette for the Burghers of Calais


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Bather with Sandals - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Bather with Sandals


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Main Droite 27 (Right Hand 27) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Main Droite 27 (Right Hand 27)


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Download Exhibition Catalogues for Auguste Rodin

D52ed24c8802270f610494b3464c91bc5dced453

Rodin - In Private Hands


2014 Exhibition Catalogue

0294831b411647f25793a9c412210680f4ac4a18

Nude


2016 Exhibition Catalogue