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Eugène Druet (1867 -1916)
H. 39.3 cm ; W. 30 cm
Studio at the Dépôt des Marbres. On the verso, in stencil and gouache : "A. Rodin, photographie, cadre n°354".
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By 1896, Rodin was no longer content to work solely with photographers such as Pannelier, Charles Bodmer and Freuler, whose approach to taking pictures of works of art was purely technical. Probably tired of not being able to exercise any control over the way his works were photographed, and aware of Eugène Druet’s talent, he made him his official photographer, a position he filled until 1903.
Druet, an amateur photographer, was the owner of the French Yacht Club Café where Rodin usually ate, but he turned professional after meeting the sculptor, and went on to open his own art gallery and photo agency, in Rue Royale. This “photography buff” was clearly more open to the maestro’s ideas than other photographers of the day. Rodin, who had decided to participate in the genesis of the photographs of his works, asked Druet to present The Kiss in its natural environment, the studio. He himself signed this coproduction by adding the final touch – the mallet at the foot of the sculpture. In Rodin’s view, the work was thus complete.