Final Study for the Monument to Balzac

Artist: Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon)

Founder: Cast by Georges Rudier (French)

Date: modeled 1897, cast 1972

Culture: French

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: Overall: 41 3/4 × 17 1/2 × 16 1/2 in. (106 × 44.5 × 41.9 cm)

Classification: Sculpture-Bronze

Credit Line: Gift of Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, 1984

Accession Number: 1984.364.15


This study differs little from the finished Monument to Balzac except that it is less than half the size. It was preceded by studies of the dressing gown alone, a simulation of one that Balzac preferred to wear when writing. A study of the full figure wrapped in the dressing gown followed. The final study, simplified and more a symbol than a portrait, attempted to convey a strength of character analogous to the power of Balzac's prose. It has been said that in the attempt, Rodin created the first truly modern sculpture.