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Portrait of Rodin
Antoine Bourdelle (1861 -1929)
«Au maître Rodin. Ces profils rassemblés»
H. 89.5 cm ; W. 63 cm ; D. 61.8 cm
Donation Rhodia Dufet-Bourdelle, 1996.
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Exhibited at the Salon in 1910, this totemic portrait bust or terminal figure gave rise to considerable perplexity. The first version was even more puzzling: it emphasized the impression of the sculptor being cramped in a taller sheath, while two small horns, emerging out of his crew cut, projected a powerfully creative, faunlike image of Rodin.
Dictated by feelings of immense admiration, the present work is a fervent tribute which thus deifies the master, while the subtitle highlights one of his contributions to sculpture: his theory of profiles. According to this theory, truth is attained through “the dense execution of profiles”and the work "expresses itself". By condensing distinguishing features and generalities in the portrait, again applying the lessons learned from Rodin,Bourdelle produced a veritable icon here.