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Fragment of a group of the three Graces: nude female torso
Acquired by Rodin between 1895 and 1917.
This headless nude female torso, with the arm of another (missing) figure lying across it, is a surviving fragment of a sculpture group of the three Graces, Roman goddesses of beauty. This work, which Rodin bought between 1895 and 1917, reminded him of a well-known work, part of his imaginary museum―the Three Graces held in the Louvre (MNB 3227, Ma 9), of which he owned a cast. For Rodin, this broken fragment was as powerfully expressive as the whole group. The accidental break indicated how the figures were originally joined, while preserving the surviving connection and a trace of the work’s story. Rodin was inspired by this lesson from antiquity to emphasize the composition of his own sculptures, as we see, for example, in the Torso with the Hand of a Skeleton. In his book on Rodin, Rainer Maria Rilke described the process: “[He] begins with the places where the contact is closest, as the culminating points of the work; he sets to work where something new is happening, devoting all the artistry of his implement to the mysterious visions that accompany the birth of a new thing.”
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Permanent collections – first floor, Room 17
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Date of conception :
Early 2nd century AD
H. 43.5 cm; W. 19.5 cm; D. 14.4 cm
Fine-grained white marble
Inventory number :
© Photographic Agency of musée Rodin - Jérome Manoukian
- Fragment d’un groupe des trois Grâces : torse féminin nu(zip, 994.5 ko)