H. 21 in. (53.3 cm.); W. 20 in. (50.8 cm.); D. 12-1/2 in. (31.8 cm.)
Gift of Thomas F. Ryan, 1910
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 800
Rodin neither selected his male and female sitters in the same way, nor approached them in the same way artistically. For the most part, he chose male subjects for their achievement and character, his female sitters for their beauty or sensuality. Of the many painters who made Paris the great center of artistic creativity that it was in the second half of the nineteenth century, the two whom Rodin most respected were Eugène Carrière and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes.
In the matter of portraiture, Puvis proved no less difficult than some of Rodin's other friends. The painter was, in fact, very upset with the first, bare-chested bust that Rodin modeled in 1880, at the commission of the French Ministry of Fine Arts, and he was less than happy with the clothed version. Years later Rodin would say "Puvis de Chavannes did not like my bust of him…He thought that I had caricatured him. And yet I am certain that I have expressed in my sculpture all the enthusiasm and veneration that I felt for him."
Signature: On right rear shoulder: A. Rodin
Marking: At base of neck in back: ALEXIS RUDIER/FONDEUR. PARIS