Pol Marsan Dornac (? -1941)
Rodin in front of the "Monument to Sarmiento", Hands in Pockets, Tools placed on a Plank of Wood
H. 12.5 cm ; W. 18 cm
Studio at the Dépôt des Marbres - “Our Contemporaries at Home” series.
This portrait of Rodin belongs to a series entitled “Our Contemporaries at Home”, featuring celebrities from the world of art and politics in the late 19th and early 20th century, published in the periodical L’Art et les artistes.
The photographer, Pol Marsan Dornac, took pictures of his subjects with the tools of their trade, which made it easy to identify each person’s occupation: Gustave Geffroy posed behind his desk, Verlaine sat in a café with a sheet of paper and a pen, the sculptor Rodin stood in front of a marble, surrounded by points, chisels and a hammer.
In addition to the typological aspect of this series of portraits, Dornac demonstrated his skill in releasing the shutter at a magical moment. Rodin’s presence has a rare intensity. In 1905, Rilke would describe the artist’s aura in the following terms: “He then takes on a concentrated gaze that comes and goes like the beam cast by a lighthouse, but with such a force that, even when far behind one, one can still feel its fury swelling.”