The National Museum of Art of Romania
Rodin – The Bronze Age
Artwork description
Auguste Rodin
(Paris,1840-Meudon la Forêt, 1917)
French school
Bronze
Height: 180 cm
Inv. 8449/483
Artwork location
European Art Gallery, 2nd floor, room 12

Rodin worked on this sculpture for nearly two years, between 1875 and 1877. Rather than a professional model, he chose a young Belgian soldier whose physical condition was so good he could sit in awkward, strenous positions up to four hours a day. This way Rodin experimented with postures far from the mainstream of contemporary traditional academic sculpture.

After a visit to Italy to study Classical and Renaissance sculpture directly, Rodin opted for a life-size male nude, standing in a slight contrapposto (180 cm high). His highly naturalistic handling led to the acusation he had taken a mould from life instead of modeling the clay because, Rodin being obliged to ask friends to testify in his favour, having seen him at work. In was only in May 1880 that he managed to convince officials to accept the bronze cast at the Paris Salon.

The museum cast was bought by Queen Marie of Romania, a great admirer of Rodin’s art.

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