Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Mask of Hanako (Ohta Hisa, 1868–1945)

Artist:
Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon)
Founder:
Cast by Alexis Rudier (French)
Date:
modeled 1908, cast probably before 1950
Culture:
French
Medium:
Bronze, black marble base
Dimensions:
wt. on marble base, confirmed: 6 × 4 1/2 × 3 3/4 in., 2.9 lb. (15.2 × 11.4 × 9.5 cm, 1.3 kg) Height (with base): 8 1/4 in. (21 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture-Bronze
Credit Line:
Gift of Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.364.4
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 809
This mask is part of a series in which Rodin sought to convey the intense expressivity of his model’s face. The actress known as Hanako performed westernized adaptations of Japanese Kabuki theater written by her agent, the famous American dancer Loie Fuller, under the pseudonym Loi-Fu. While the mask shows a peaceful countenance, the performances typically ended in bloody harakiri (ritual suicide) scenes, during which Hanako captivated audiences with her expressions of anguish.
Signature: On the left side of the neck: A Rodin

Marking: Below signature: .A. Rudier/.FondParis
The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation (until 1984; to MMA)
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