Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)

Circa 1906-1907

Pencil on paper

H. 30.9 cm ; W. 19.5 cm


This work on paper is one of the countless drawings sketched from life by Rodin, without taking his eyes off the model.


It is easy to recognize in this figure the Japanese actress Hanako, whom Rodin met in Marseilles in 1906. Fascinated by the expressivity of her face, the sculptor persuaded her to come and pose for him. He modelled 58 sculptures of Hanako, as well as a large number of drawings, made in a single sitting, during which he sought to capture her exceptional energy on his sheets of paper.


Rodin was struck by the powerful muscles of this tiny dancer’s “exotic” body, as he told Paul Gsell : “She is so strong that she can stand as long as she wants on one leg, while lifting the other in front of her at a right angle. She thus appears to be rooted to the ground like a tree…” (Gsell, 1911).


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