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Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)
Vase Saïgon «Limbo and the Sirens»
1887, 1934 edition
H. 24.7 cm ; W. 13.3 cm ; D. 13.3 cm
Gift of Eugène Rudier, 1945.
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Rodin worked for the Sèvres Porcelain Factory from 1879 and 1882, then continued on an occasional basis until the end of the 1880s. Carrier-Belleuse, appointed artistic director in 1875 with the task of reviving production, called upon the services of four sculptors whom he most valued for their modelling skills. Rodin was one of the best of them. On the vases with novel forms designed by Carrier-Belleuse, his job was to apply decorative motifs in very light relief, veritable feats of skill halfway between sculpture and drawing.
The themes represented on these vases, like the sirens and the group composed of an old woman and a girl, here, often reappeared in The Gates of Hell , as well as in the “black” drawings executed for this decorative portal and in the engravings dating from 1881-82. Like every ornamentalist, Rodin had built up a repertory of motifs, which he used recurrently in all the artistic fields he explored.