Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)

Circa 1900

Pencil and watercolour on paper

H. 32.4 cm ; W. 24.9 cm


Aspiderlike continuous line, extremely fine, without any variation in thickness or sign of interruption, defines, against a blue watercolour background, the synthesized contour of a female nude,very slighly coloured in a brown ochre wash.The drawing did not spring from the artist’s imagination but from his encounter with the real model. An attitude or a movement spontaneously captured could then be reworked, amended, pared down, enhanced with wash or watercolour, and repeated at will so as to create multiple variations on the same theme.


This was the case in this drawing of a kneeling woman with head thrown back, who borrows the form of an ancient vase and the colour of terracotta, to become one of the many versions of a “vase woman” invented by Rodin. The blue watercolour engulfs the body of the naked woman in this drawing that Rodin called Rock and recalls, as in many of his works, the sensual and primordial universe of the ocean depths.


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