Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)
Bust of Rochefort
H. 72.5 cm ; W. 43.5 cm ; D. 44 cm
Rodin executed his portrait four years afterwards, when he was working on The Gates of Hell and was about to begin The Burghers of Calais . The powerful modelling developed by the sculptor for these two monuments is also found in the Bust of Rochefort.
Using perfectly balanced large masses, Rodin modelled only the face in detail, sketchily indicating the polemicist’s garments, while handling the hair in thick locks. In 1898, he had the bust enlarged half as large again, then modified the base by placing it at a slight slant. As a result, the expression of intense concentration dominating the first portrait was considerably altered: thrust forward, the impressive forehead assumed a threatening air, while the eyes, now concealed in shadow, hardened Rochefort’s gaze.