St. John the Baptist
- Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon)
- modeled ca. 1878, cast ca. 1888
- Overall (wt. confirmed): 21 3/8 × 15 3/4 × 11 in., 42.5 lb. (54.3 × 40 × 27.9 cm, 19.3 kg)
- Credit Line:
- Gift of Samuel P. Avery, 1893
- Accession Number:
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.