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Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)
Pencil and watercolour on paper
H. 32.6 cm ; W. 25 cm
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The watercolours Rodin executed from 1900 onwards helped establish his reputation as a draughtsman considerably. Here, a mix of subtle hues, ranging from ochre to violet, and diluted so as to form rings with jagged edges, creates a decidedly abstract space. Emerging from beneath these clouds of diffuse colours spreading out wherever chance carried them is a precise, continuous, fine line forming the buttocks and legs of a woman seen from behind. This synthetic, magnificently evocative, elliptical drawing undoubtedly stemmed from the subtle refinement of an earlier drawing, made in a few minutes, from life, after a model.
The patches of violet watercolour, in the centre, almost conceal the legs of the female nude; an ochre hue emphasizes and unifies the curve of the lower back, which seems to emerge from behind a thick mass of clouds, like a star.