Bozzetti : Right arms

Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)

Circa 1890-1900


H. 2.5 cm ; W. 13 cm ; D. 3.4 cm

S.4650 to S.4654

Rodin used the term bozzetti for his beloved “pieces” or sculptural studies of tiny arms, heads, legs, hands and feet, which he modelled in clay before having several casts of them made in plaster. He thus built up a repertory of forms, into which he readily delved to complete his fragmentary figures, composing new groups and assemblages in a totally unprecedented manner. This working method propels us into the heart of Rodin’s creative process. Like a demiurge, the sculptor constantly composed, took apart and recreated.


There is something very modern in this approach to creating works out of pre-existing elements, made in series, so as to facilitate the artist’s swift and spontaneous gesture, thus reducing the time of execution between the original idea and the creative act.


The tiny arms shown here also provide insight into the rich variety of attitudes – arms outstretched or bent at the elbow; hands clenched or open-palmed; broken wrists – and the immense creative powers of a sculptor who always started from reality to bring his works to life.


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