Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)
H. 29.6 cm ; W. 27.2 cm ; D. 22 cm
Commissioned from Rodin by the Argentinian government, who wished to thank Clemenceau for the series of lectures he had given in South America in 1909, the portrait bust gave rise to several studies and variants : “In the room he used as a studio, ten or so clay heads of Clemenceau, cut off at the neck, stood on turntables and consoles. It was incredible… Rodin sculpted as an engraver produces aquatints, in states. In order not to ‘tire’ his clay with numerous amendments, he had several casts made, experimented on these successive copies and thus reworked them ten or even twelve times…” (Cladel, 1936).
Clemenceau did not like his bust. He said that Rodin had made him look like a soldier of Napoleon’s old guard and refused to let him show it at the Salon of 1914.