Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)
Pen and black ink, brown ink wash on paper
H. 25.4 cm ; W. 18.7 cm
Marcel Guérin Bequest, 1948.
Most of the drawings Rodin made in relation to his sculptures were not preparatory sketches, but drawings made after the sculptures once finished, generally as illustrations for a book or magazine article.This is the case here, since the present drawing, which borrows the pose of the sculpture Eve, dating from 1881,was initially meant to illustrate Émile Bergerat’s Enguerrande,but would eventually be used in 1900 on the frontispiece of Victor Émile Michelet’s Contes Surhumains.
When he made drawings after his sculptures, Rodin used a network of more or less dense hatchings that carved out light and shade in a manner borrowed from engraving. The patches of ink and areas where it has run, like the highly emphatic hatchings around the figure and on the arm and head of Eve, create a very Rembrandtesque chiaroscuro. The woman’s face is hidden in shadow, whereas the light seems to concentrate on her rounded belly. In this drawing, Eve, the faceless sinner, becomes the “bearer” of future humanity.