Honoré de Balzac
- Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon)
- ca. 1891
- Height (wt. on block, confirmed): 9 1/4 in., 14.4 lb. (23.5 cm, 6.6 kg)
- Credit Line:
- Rogers Fund, 1912
- Accession Number:
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.