Ephebe

3rd-2nd century BC

Bronze

H. 24.8 cm ; W. 8.5 cm ; D. 3.5 cm

Co.1329

Acquired by Rodin between 1893 and 1917.

This male statuette from pre- Roman Italy stirs the imagination with its raw, primitive appearance, its facial features barely indicated by pinchmarks in the original clay. Rodin liked the sombre side of Etruscan artists and the dryness of the bronze sculptures eaten away by oxidization.

 

The monumentality of this modest-sized work recalls Rodin’s own investigations, into the figure of Walking Man , for example, “I have always sought the architectural aspect of the human body… The work is present in each of the planes… Forms repeat themselves in nature. But there is something that remains: the form. The Ancients always understood that,and they sought the “core” of each form, the very essence of its appearance, caring little for details of the object that they actually had before their eyes.” (Rodin in Canudo, 1913).

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