St. John the Baptist, Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon), Bronze, French

St. John the Baptist

Artist:
Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon)
Date:
modeled ca. 1878, cast ca. 1888
Culture:
French
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
Overall (wt. confirmed): 21 3/8 × 15 3/4 × 11 in., 42.5 lb. (54.3 × 40 × 27.9 cm, 19.3 kg)
Classification:
Sculpture-Bronze
Credit Line:
Gift of Samuel P. Avery, 1893
Accession Number:
93.11
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 800
This early bronze betrays the raw physical and emotional intensity that set Rodin’s work apart from conventional sculpture of his era. The saint’s gouged eyes, sunken cheeks, and tousled locks convey the spiritual ferocity with which he announces Christ’s coming. A painted plaster version of the bust (which Rodin derived from his over-life-size, full-length figure Saint John the Baptist Preaching of 1878) was first exhibited as an independent work in the Paris Salon of 1879. Donated to The Met by Samuel P. Avery, a founding trustee, this was the first Rodin sculpture to enter the collection.
Signature: On the base at right: A. Rodin
Samuel Putnam Avery Sr. (until 1893; to MMA)