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.
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Artist:Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon)
Medium:Graphite with stumping, pen and brown ink, red crayon, and gouache-wash
Dimensions:11 3/4 x 8 7/16 in. (29.9 x 21.4 cm)
Credit Line:John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1910
Signature: Lower right, in graphite: Aug. Rodin
Inscription: Inscribed lower right, in graphite: Hanako
Photo Secession Gallery. "An Exhibition of Recent and Early Drawings and Water-Colors by Auguste Rodin," March 1, 1910–April 1, 1910.
Musée d'Orsay, Paris. "Masques: de Carpeaux à Picasso," October 21, 2008–February 1, 2009.
Institut Mathildenhöhe de Darmstadt. "Masques: de Carpeaux à Picasso," March 8, 2009–June 7, 2009.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen. "Masques: de Carpeaux à Picasso," August 1, 2009–October 31, 2009.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Rodin at The Met," September 16, 2017–February 4, 2018.
High Museum of Art. "Rodin in the United States: Confronting the Modern," October 28, 2022–January 15, 2023.
Francis de Miomandre Les Dessins de Rodin L'Art et les Artistes. 6, Paris, 1907, p. 444, ill.
Photo Secession: Exhibition of Drawings by Auguste Rodin. Edward J. Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, New York, March 31 - April 16, 1910, cat. no. 12.
Clare Vincent "Rodin at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, A History of the Collection." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 38, no. 4, Spring 1981, fig. no. 17.
Alfred Stieglitz, Anne McCauley, John Cauman, Jill Anderson Kyle, Mr. Charles Brock, Ann Temkin, Dr. Helen Shannon, Pepe Karmel, Bruce Robertson, Barbara Buhler Lynes, Townsend Ludington, William C. Agee Modern Art and America: Alfred Stieglitz and His New York Galleries. Sarah Greenough, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., Bulfinch Press, 1st. Washington, D.C., 2000, note 43, p. 493.
Rodin: Le rêve japonais. Dominique Viéville, Paris, 2007, p. 144.
Edouard Papet Masques: de Carpeaux à Picasso. Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay, Paris, October 21-February 1, 2009, Institut Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt, March 8-June 7, 2009, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, August-October 2009. Paris, 2008, cat. no. 61, pp. 104, 234, ill. p. 106.
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