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Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Honoré de Balzac

Artist:
Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon)
Date:
ca. 1891
Culture:
French
Medium:
Terracotta
Dimensions:
Height (wt. on block, confirmed): 9 1/4 in., 14.4 lb. (23.5 cm, 6.6 kg)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1912
Accession Number:
12.11.1
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 800
In conceiving of Balzac’s monument, Rodin refused to execute a superficially accurate likeness based on photographs of the deceased writer. Instead, he traveled to Balzac’s native Touraine province in order to be inspired by men who resembled him. A burly local named Etrager sat for the portrait. In this terracotta sketch, Etrager’s hefty features, furrowed brow, and penetrating expression echo Balzac’s. The sculptor made several sketches for the face before transforming it into an abstracted mask.
Signature: On back of neck: A. Rodin
Auguste Rodin , (until 1912; sold to MMA)
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