French Sculpture Census

photo credit : courtesy, The Kreeger Museum, Washington D.C.
artist © : public domain

RODIN, Auguste
Paris 1840 - Meudon, Hauts-de-Seine 1917

Maker: Rudier, Alexis

Balzac, dernière étude pour la tête
Balzac, Final Study for the Head [Museum's Title: Head of Balzac]

modèle de 1897
bronze

head
7 x 8 x 6 1/2
signed: A. Rodin
inscr. with foundry mark: Alexis Rudier, Fondeur, Paris

Credit Line : The Kreeger Museum

Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, The Kreeger Museum

www.kreegermuseum.org

Provenance

  • Robert M. Leylan
  • 1971, Acquired from Sotheby & Co., London
  • 1971-1994, David (1909-1990) and Carmen (1910-2003) Kreeger Collection, Washington
  • 1994, Opening of the Kreeger Museum, Washington

Bibliography

  • Museum's website, 17 February 2016
  • date? Spear
    Athena Tacha Spear, "Rodin Sculpture", Cleveland Museum Bulletin of Art, IV, pl. 27, with illustration of Cleveland Museum cast
  • 1951 Charbonneaux
    Jean Charbonneaux, Les sculptures de Rodin, Paris, 1951, p. xiv
  • 1963 Elsen
    Albert E. Elsen, Rodin, New York, 1963, p. 91, illus. [another cast]
  • 1963 Selz
    Jean Selz, Modern Sculpture - Origins and Evolution, New York, 1963, p. 116-117
  • 1967 Descharnes
    J. Descharnes, Auguste Rodin, New York, 1967, p. 164-175
  • 1976 Sharpe
    The Collections of Mr. and Mrs. David Lloyd Kreeger, Edited by Margy P. Sharpe, Introductions by Charles W. Millard, J. Carter Brown, Richard L. Feigen, Warren M. Robbins, Washington, 1976, p. 236-237, repr.
  • 1998 Le Normand-Romain
    1898 : Le Balzac de Rodin, catalogue d'exposition, sous la direction d’Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, Paris, Musée Rodin, 1998, pp. 350-352, Balzac, dernière étude pour la tête, 1897, this copy is mentioned / cet exemplaire est cité p. 351, n°99
  • 2007 Le Normand-Romain (français)
    Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, avec la collaboration d'Hélène Marraud et Diane Tytgat, introductions par Dr. Ruth Butler et Mr. Régis Cusinberche, Les Bronzes de Rodin. Catalogue des œuvres au Musée Rodin, 2 volumes, Paris, Musée Rodin / Editions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, 2007, vol. 1, pp. 177-179, Balzac, dernière étude pour la tête, 1897, cet exemplaire est cité p. 177 : "Fonte Alexis Rudier : [...] Washington, Kreeger Museum (acq. Sotheby's, Londres, 1 décembre 1971, n°3)"
  • 2007 Le Normand-Romain (English)
    Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, with the collaboration of Hélène Marraud and Diane Tytgat, introductions by Dr. Ruth Butler and Mr. Régis Cusinberche, The Bronzes of Rodin. Catalogue of works in the Musée Rodin, 2 volumes, English version, Paris, Musée Rodin / Editions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, 2007, vol. 1, pp. 177-179, Balzac, Final Study for the Head, 1897, this copy is mentioned p. 177: " Casts by Alexis Rudier: [...] Washington D.C., Kreeger Museum (acq. Sotheby's, London, 1 December 1971, no. 3)"

Exhibition

  • 1971 London
    Exhibition for the sale, December 1, 1971, London, Sotheby & Co., cat. lot 3, illus. facing page
  • 1972 Washington
    Rodin, Washington, D.C., Corcoran Gallery, November 17-December 17, 1972 (no catalogue)

Related Works

1976 Sharpe, p. 236:
[In 1891 the Société des gens de lettres signed a contract with Rodin to create a statue commemorating Balzac. ...] Rodin's presentation of the model at the Salon in 1898 created a scandal, and the commission was taken away from the artist. The statue was not cast until 1939, 18 years after Rodin's death, when it was installed on the corner of the boulevard Montparnasse and the boulevard Raspail. Mr. Robert M. Leylan, from whom this study was acquired, has verified that this cast is an original work from the period 1890-1893, so that it, unlike the final bronze, has a patina applied by Rodin himself.