Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Balzac, Towards the Light, Midnight

Artist:
Edward J. Steichen (American (born Luxembourg), Bivange 1879–1973 West Redding, Connecticut)
Date:
1908
Medium:
Direct carbon print
Dimensions:
36.5 x 48.2 cm (14 3/8 x 19 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933
Accession Number:
33.43.38
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 809
Steichen first saw an image of Rodin’s monument to the author Honoré de Balzac in a Milwaukee newspaper in 1898, undoubtedly accompanying a report of the scandal surrounding the sculpture’s rejection by its commissioners. The photographer, in contrast, described it as "the very embodiment of a tribute to genius. It looked like a mountain come to life. It stirred up my interest in going to Paris." Ten years later, Rodin asked Steichen to make photographs of the plaster Balzac outdoors in moonlight. Of the resulting prints, Rodin exclaimed, "You will make the world understand my Balzac through your pictures."
Alfred Stieglitz

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Collection of Alfred Stieglitz," May 18, 1978–July 16, 1978.

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today," August 1, 2010–November 1, 2010.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand," November 8, 2010–April 10, 2011.

Stieglitz, Alfred, ed. Camera Work: A Photographic Quarterly 34–35 (April–July 1911).

Naef, Weston J. The Collection of Alfred Stieglitz: Fifty Pioneers of Modern Photography. Studio Book. 1st ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1978. no. 486.

Vincent, Clare. "Rodin at the Metropolitan Museum of Art : A History of the Collection." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin n.s. 38, no. 4 (Spring 1981). pp, 7, 19; fig. 16.

Smith, Joel. Edward Steichen: The Early Years. Princeton: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. pl. 49.

Brandow, Todd, and William A. Ewing. Edward Steichen: Lives in Photography. Minneapolis: Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, 2007. fig. 51.

Marcoci, Roxana. The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today. New York: Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2010. no. 75.



Related Objects

[Battlefield at Vaux, France]

Artist: Edward J. Steichen (American (born Luxembourg), Bivange 1879–1973 West Redding, Connecticut) Date: 1918 Medium: Gelatin silver print Accession: 1976.648.3 On view in:Not on view

[Battlefield at Vaux, France]

Artist: Edward J. Steichen (American (born Luxembourg), Bivange 1879–1973 West Redding, Connecticut) Date: 1918 Medium: Gelatin silver print Accession: 1976.648.2 On view in:Not on view

Heavy Roses

Artist: Edward J. Steichen (American (born Luxembourg), Bivange 1879–1973 West Redding, Connecticut) Date: 1914, printed 1981 Medium: Photogravure Accession: 1980.1020 On view in:Not on view

Voulangis

Artist: Edward J. Steichen (American (born Luxembourg), Bivange 1879–1973 West Redding, Connecticut) Date: 1900–1902 Medium: Platinum print Accession: 1990.1042 On view in:Not on view

[Brancusi's Studio]

Artist: Edward J. Steichen (American (born Luxembourg), Bivange 1879–1973 West Redding, Connecticut) Date: ca. 1920 Medium: Gelatin silver print Accession: 1992.5149 On view in:Not on view