Portrait of Auguste Rodin

Victor Peter French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 556

Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) was already world-famous at the time of this portrait, which is an especially touching act of homage by an exact contemporary. Victor Peter was much in demand as a finisher of other sculptor's marbles, including Rodin's, although he is better remembered as a maker of small portrait medallions and charming reliefs with animal subjects. A medallion of Rodin was among those Peter showed at the Exposition Universelle of 1900. Here his style is monumental as befitting his subject – the massive countenance filling the space, the beard indeed falling over the edge – but the carving is carried out with an ineffable tenderness.

This is the Museum's only European example in marble of a low-relief style, essentially adapted from the rilievo schiacciato of the Early Renaissance, as it was practiced around the turn of the century and notably in America by such artists as Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

Portrait of Auguste Rodin, Victor Peter (French, Paris 1840–1918 Paris), Marble, French

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