Alexandre Falguière (1831 -1900)
Oil on canvas
H. 160.5 cm ; W. 125 cm
Falguière and Rodin were firm friends. “The Balzac affair”, during which Rodin would lose the commission from the Société des Gens de Lettres to Falguière, would have no impact on the quality of their relationship. Rodin, who regarded Falguiﾏre as a great artist, purchased this Seated Diana, in spite of its poor condition, after his friend’s death to help his widow financially. It is a preparatory study for a painting exhibited at the Salon in 1879.
Frequently represented by artists since the Renaissance, the scene shows a pensive Diana, with a shapely, expressive body. Her forms are statuesque.To break away from the monumentality of his figure, the painter introduced the colour red, which confers an expressive quality on the work. Falguière tackled his canvas like a sculptor: he scratched the paint away, reworked it, revealing his talent as a colourist and thus showing how closely painting and sculpture interact in his work.