Although Rodin rarely made drawings with this level of finish in preparation for his sculptural projects, the staging of the figural group on a pedestal-like platform suggests a close relationship with sculpture. It is similar in style to the decorative sculptures he made in the 1870s while working in the Paris and Brussels studios of Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse. The title refers to the first of the successive ages of humanity according to Greek mythology—a time of youthfulness and harmony in contrast to the violent Age of Bronze, the subject of Rodin’s first important full-length sculpture
Signature: In pen and brown ink at upper right corner of recto: "l'âge d'or / A. Rodin"
Inscription: Upper right: "L'Age D'Or" in pen and brown ink
Marking: Printed sticker on verso of heavy board: "MAISON HOMBERT / SEEL SUC.r / 37, Rue Victor Massé / Paris IXe / FABRICANT de CADRES DORES / encadrements artistiques". Sticker with pen and ink inscription on heavy backing: "Rodin signé / 'L'âge d'or' / mention sur le dessin de la main / de Rodin / Dessin / Provenence / Collection du Graveur Waltener". Sticker, also on backing bearing No. 104 in blue crayon, in pen and black ink: "No. apposé à l'exposition / Monet Rodin / Fevrier Mars 1941 / à l'orangerie" [sic; exhibition held in 1940 and does not record this drawing].
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Rodin Drawings: True and False," November 20, 1971–January 23, 1972.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. "Rodin Drawings: True and False," March 9, 1972–May 14, 1972.
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Rodin Rediscovered," July 4, 1981–February 4, 1982.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," November 28, 1994–February 5, 1995.
Albert Elsen, J. Kirk T. Varnedoe, Victoria Thorson, Elisabeth Chase Geissbuhler The Drawings of Rodin. Ex. cat. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1971, fig. no. 31, 51, ill.
Albert Elsen "Drawings and the True Rodin." in Artforum. vol. 10, no. 6, February 1972, p. 64, ill.
Rosalyn Frankel Jamison, Daniel Rosenfeld Rodin Rediscovered. (ed,) Albert Elsen, Washington, D.C., 1980, cat. no. 231, fig. no. 7.17, pp.166-167, 331, ill.
Clare Vincent "Rodin at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, A History of the Collection." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 38, no. 4, Spring 1981, fig. no. 54.
Rodin: les arts décoratifs. François Blanchetière, 2009, fig. no. 2, pp. 38, 41, ill.
Louis-Antoine Prat Le Dessin français au XIXe siècle. Paris, 2011, p. 493.