Balzac, Towards the Light, Midnight
Edward J. Steichen American, born Luxembourg
Not on view
Steichen first saw an image of Rodin’s monument to the author Honoré de Balzac in a Milwaukee newspaper in 1898, undoubtedly accompanying a report of the scandal surrounding the sculpture’s rejection by its commissioners. The photographer, in contrast, described it as "the very embodiment of a tribute to genius. It looked like a mountain come to life. It stirred up my interest in going to Paris." Ten years later, Rodin asked Steichen to make photographs of the plaster Balzac outdoors in moonlight. Of the resulting prints, Rodin exclaimed, "You will make the world understand my Balzac through your pictures."