Head of Balzac

Auguste Rodin French
Cast by Georges Rudier French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 800

Rodin made more than fifty studies for the Balzac monument, and the majority are heads. This one represents the artist’s transition from more naturalistic portraits toward the abstracted mask that adorns the final study for the Monument to Balzac. Here, Balzac’s agitated brow, pug nose, and deeply gouged eyes evoke the author’s melancholic insights into the human psyche. Perhaps Rodin identified with Balzac. Both were driven souls, avid art collectors, voracious lovers, and prolific artists.

Head of Balzac, Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon), Bronze, black marble base, French

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