Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)
H. 34 cm ; W. 17 cm ; D. 22 cm
Cast by Alexis Rudier, 1905-1907
Gustave Geffroy (1855–1926) was a man of letters, journalist and art critic. He wrote a biography of Monet, promoted the works of Cézanne and met Rodin in 1883, shortly after having written a highly complimentary article on the sculptor. This was the beginning of a long friendship, during which Geffroy showed how well he understood and analysed not only Rodin’s work but also, if necessary, Camille Claudel’s.
Geffroy’s portrait seems to have been done to thank the critic for his loyal support in The Thinker affair, when a committee was formed to erect the sculpture outside the Panthéon. The firm, decisive modelling on the view of the head, with a sketchily indicated neck, highlights the critic’s intelligence and concentration. The bronze still bears traces of the pellets of clay that add relief to the surface but also demonstrate how important the medium was in Rodin’s creative process.