Towards the Incomplete - 1900-1917
Rodin’s fame having become tremendous since the exhibition at Alma (1900), collectioners are becoming aware of the worth of marble statues, the number of which increases. The works are sometimes reproduced in several copies, even if the hand of the artist remains an important symbol (The Hand of God). Several pieces create a background (Day and Night, Last Vision, or The Death of Adonis) and constitute kinds of reliefs that sometimes cultivate a certain sfumato. From the model (Lover’s Hands, The Water Fairy, Psyche and Cupid) to the finished work, and contrary to the classic vision, the contours seem to become more vague, revealing a true aesthetic plan. Certain works (Slavic Woman, Psyche-Pomona) emphasize the absence of transformation of the material, encouraging the viewer to use his imagination. However, Rodin continues to produce small or mediumsized groups with mythological themes (Adam and Eve, Paolo and Francesca, Zephyr and Psyche). He also produces major monuments, many of them funereal (Ariane, Monument to Victor Hugo). With his future museum in mind, he transposes the works he is fondest of into marble (Fugit Amor, Fish-Woman). Finally, the portraits (Victor Hugo, Madam Fenaille, Puvis de Chavannes) demonstrate the increasing importance of rough material in his works. The bust seems to emerge from the block like the bud from the plant, blending the vegetable and the mineral, art and nature, and thus pursuing the metaphor of Flowers in a Vase.