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Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)
Terracotta, Plaster, Wax, Nails, Modelling Clay, Newspaper
H. 46 cm ; W. 47.6 cm ; D. 39.5 cm
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Such composite works as this are seldom kept, since their fragility compromises their long-term conservation. Rodin, who never hesitated to employ the most varied materials, nevertheless rarely produced such a heteroclite work as this. Using a terracotta female bust as a starting point, he altered it with the help of newspaper and fresh plaster, then added wax to amend the hair and a cast of a real piece of fruit to complete his allegory.
The closed eyes of this young girl, whose pose is somewhat reminiscent of Meditation , as well as the pomegranate placed near her, form a perfect evocation of sleep. The nails and the points marked in pencil show what this surprising work was originally used for: it was a model for a marble carved in 1894, which explains its uncaredfor appearance. Rodin only had to indicate the broad lines of the figure to be carved to his practitioner, and the craftsman, under the supervision of the master, then had a relatively free hand.