Mrs. Russell (Mariana Mattioco della Torre)

Auguste Rodin French
Cast by Georges Rudier French

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."

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

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