Final Study for the Monument to Balzac

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

Date: modeled 1897, cast 1972

Culture: French

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: H. 41-3/4 in. (106 cm.); W. 17-1/2 in. (44.5 cm.); D. 16-1/2 in. (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.