Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)
H. 22.5 cm ; W. 16 cm (Engraved part)
Rodin was introduced to copperplate engraving, or, to be more precise, to etching and dry-point engraving, in 1881, by his friend Alphonse Legros, then living in London. Although he soon mastered the technique, he only explored 13 subjects in his engravings,but often printed a large number of successive states. During his lifetime, the engravings he made after his portrait busts enabled him to familiarize the public with his freestanding sculpture and earned him an excellent reputation as an engraver.
In the portrait of Henry Becque (1837-99), Rodin placed a front view and two profile views of the writer side by side in the same copperplate, thereby multiplying the angles from which the sitter was seen and making him revolve around the sheet, like a bust placed on a sculptor’s turntable.