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Head of Apollo
Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929)
Inscribed on the back: Au grand maitre Rodin / Bourdelle
Gift from Bourdelle to Rodin
From 1893 onward, Bourdelle spent many years working as Rodin’s assistant and marble carver. In his own creative output, he was definitely the disciple closest to his master, as regards both technique and esthetics. In addition, the two men were bound by mutual respect. But, from 1905, most young sculptors aspired to formal simplification; Maillol (93) and Bourdelle were pioneers. The Head of Apollo (1900–09) bears witness to this turning point. Bourdelle began it as a study in which he sought to abandon Rodinesque cavities and irregularities for a denser structure. Some years later, he came across the unfinished work, dry and cracked down one side. For Bourdelle, it became the symbol of his esthetic break with Rodin, whose reaction on seeing it is described as follows: “He was quite stunned by it […] and never forgave me.” Rodin was shocked to see how far Bourdelle had moved away and by the new perspectives he had thus opened.
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Permanent collections – first floor, Room 16
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Date of conception :
H. 32; L. 21.7; D. 28.5 cm
Plaster, cast from piece mold
Inventory number :
© Musée Rodin, Hervé Lewandowski
- Head of Apollo(zip, 604.3 ko)