Friday, May 18, 2007

Tête de Saint-Jean Baptiste, modèle au plateau, version de face by Auguste Rodin

Tête de Saint-Jean Baptiste, modèle au plateau, version de face

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Gallery: Robert Bowman Gallery

Tête de Saint-Jean Baptiste, modèle au plateau, version de face Bronze
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Height 7 inches (17.8 cm)
Signed A.Rodin and inscribed with the foundry mark A.Rudier. Fondeur. Paris.
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Conceived circa 1887; this bronze version was cast circa 1930. The work was cast in an unknown edition size, firstly by Francois Rudier, then Alexis Rudier and finally four casts were cast by Georges Rudier for the Musée Rodin between 1965 and 1974.

Rodin created his life-size figure of St. John the Baptist preaching in 1878. He returned to the subject of St. John almost ten years later in 1887. This time he dealt with the end of the saint?s life, the moment when Salome, tutored by her mother, has requested the head of St. John on a platter, from King Herod as a reward for her erotic dancing. The subject was a popular one at the time with variations on the theme being produced by Antokolski in 1879 and Carriés in 1881.

Rodin made two versions of the subject, the first showing the severed head on its side resting on a large platter, the second with the head resting on its back. The present example is of the second type which can also be seen at the top of the Gates of Hell. Versions of the work were also carved in marble and exhibited at the Monet-Rodin Exhibition in 1889 and the Exposition Rodin in 1900.

To be included in the forthcoming Catalogue critique de L’Oeuvre sculpté d’Auguste Rodin being prepared by the Comité Rodin under archive no. 2004V517B.
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Provenance
Frances Leventritt, New York
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Literature
John L Tancock, The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1976, pp.205-207 illustration 21-3, 21-4Dominique Jarrasse, Rodin, A Passion for Movement, Editions Pierre Terrail, 1992, illustrated p.45