Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)
H. 53 cm ; W. 41 cm ; D. 41.5 cm
Lost wax cast made by Eugène Gonon (?) in 1885. Purchased by the musée Rodin in 1956.
This decorative group takes its name from the marble version, dated 1884, now in the Musée d’Ixelles, near Brussels. Designed circa 1875, when Rodin was living in Belgium, it has no other subject but the innocent happiness its suggests: a cherub and a young child, both plump and chubby-cheeked, are embracing each other on a wide plinth scattered with flowers.
The delicacy of the details of the present bronze is highlighted by the excellent quality of the cast, made in 1885 using the lost-wax process revived by Eugène Gonon.
Still showing the influence of Carrier-Belleuse, Ixelles Idyll is a good example of the works Rodin produced in a decorative style popular in the 18th century, which returned to fashion under the Second Empire. The gaiety of the subject and the liveliness of Rodin’s handling gave rise to several comparisons with Clodion (1738-1814), who, a century earlier, had made numerous charming sculptures representing children at play.