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Torso of a Young Woman with Arched Back
Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)
H. 86 cm ; W. 48.1 cm ; D. 32.2 cm
Cast commissioned by the French state for the Musée du Luxembourg in 1910. Made by Alexis Rudier in 1911. Transferred to the Musée Rodin in 1919.
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This torso comes from a full-length figure known as Thunderstruck Damned Woman.
The subsequent enlargement further highlights the curve of the arched back and the bust. The fin-like protuberances visible on the hips are what remains of the hands on the original small figure. Rodin decided to retain them as traces of a previous state and his working method. These processes of fragmentation and enlargement, other aspects of the artist’s modernity, show how well Rodin exploited all the potential of a piece of sculpture and modified our perception of it.
Such an approach was part of the investigations, carried out by the artist in 1890-95, into fragmenting and reducing forms to the essential. For Rodin, it was not a question of leaving a work unfinished, or of leaving a figure incomplete, but of eliminating everything that was not strictly necessary in order to make its expressiveness more forceful. This no doubt explains why the torso would be so influential in the 20th century.
This cast, made during Rodin’s lifetime, has a surprising grainy, matt green patina, which endows this fragmentary work with a character similar to that of findings from an archaeological dig.