Mrs. Russell (Mariana Mattioco della Torre), Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon), Silvered bronze, black marble base, French

Mrs. Russell (Mariana Mattioco della Torre)

Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon)
Cast by Georges Rudier (French)
modeled 1888, cast 1979
Silvered bronze, black marble base
Height (wt. confirmed): 13 7/8 in., 18.6 lb. (35.2 cm, 8.5 kg); Height (on block): 19 3/8 in. (49.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, 1986
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 800
Mariana Russell, the wife of the Impressionist painter John Peter Russell, modeled for Rodin’s sculptures of ancient goddesses. Likely inspired by her evenly proportioned, classical features, the artist portrayed her variously as Ceres, Minerva, and Athena. In 1888 Rodin modeled her portrait in wax; this later bronze cast captures her dignified beauty. Her hair is pulled back, emphasizing her broad jaw, strong nose, and full lips. She appears aloof yet feeling, simple yet intelligent: a woman of depth and character. Rodin often expressed his preference for frank portraiture: "Even the most insignificant head is the dwelling-place of life . . . and so offers inexhaustible matter for the masterpiece."
Signature: On the left side of the neck: A. Rodin; on the interior, raised: A. Rodin

Marking: On the back, at left: .Georges Rudier. / .Fondeur.Paris.; on the right rim of the plinth: © by musée Rodin, 1979
The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation (until 1986; to MMA)