Auguste Rodin French

Not on view

Rodin first met the Japanese actress Ohta Hisa, known as Hanako, at the 1906 Colonial Exhibition in Marseilles and invited her to pose for him in Paris. The following year, while engaged in a successful run at the Théâtre Moderne, Hanako made at least three visits to Rodin’s studio. The sessions resulted in numerous portraits, including this enigmatic drawing with the face and hands partially obscured by a semi-opaque layer of gray gouache. Perhaps dissatisfied with his first attempt, Rodin reprised the face in brown ink on the right. Both the simplified line drawing and the semi-effaced version of the portrait appear distinctly mask-like.

Hanako, Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon), Graphite with stumping, pen and brown ink, red crayon, and gouache-wash

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