In a 1911 interview, Rodin described his discovery of this pose during a session with a model. He spoke of recognizing in her form "a vase with exquisite curves, the amphora which contains the life of the future within." Rodin was keenly interested in antique vases—he amassed a collection of more than six thousand vases of ancient, medieval, and Asian origin. The "vase-woman" became a recurring motif in his drawings during the first decade of the twentieth century.
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Title:Origin of the Greek Vase
Artist:Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon)
Medium:Graphite, watercolor, and gouache
Dimensions:19 3/8 x 12 5/8 in. (49.2 x 32.1 cm)
Credit Line:Gift of Thomas F. Ryan, 1913
L'Origine d'un vase grecque; Etude pour "Femme à genoux"
Signature: LR: "Aug Rodin"
Inscription: "Naissance du Vase Grec"
Thomas F. Ryan
Vancouver Art Gallery. "The Nude in Art," November 3, 1964–November 29, 1964.
Paris. Cabinet des dessins, Musée du Louvre. "Dessins français du Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York de David à Picasso," October 25, 1973–January 7, 1974.
Athens. National Pinakothiki, Alexander Soutzos Museum. "Treasures from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," 1979.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Nineteenth Century French Drawings and Prints," June 23–August 23, 1981.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," January 6–April 13, 1997.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Nudes: Drawings by Sculptors," October 20, 2014–January 25, 2015, no catalogue.
Statens Museum for Kunst. "Ecstasies: Drawings by Auguste Rodin," September 23, 2016–January 15, 2017.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Rodin at The Met," September 16, 2017–February 4, 2018.
Elisabeth Chase Geissbuhler, Antoine-Emile Bourdelle Rodin: Later Drawings. Boston, 1963, fig. no. pl.22, pp. 64-65.
Albert Elsen, J. Kirk T. Varnedoe, Victoria Thorson, Elisabeth Chase Geissbuhler The Drawings of Rodin. Ex. cat. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1971, fig. no. 96, ill.
Jacques Fryszman "French Drawings from the Metropolitan Museum at the Louvre." The Burlington Magazine. 115, no. 849, December 1973, p. 837.
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. 48.
Claudie Judrin "La femme-vase dans le dessin de Rodin" Naissance: Mélanges offerts à Jacques Vilain. Edited by Henry-Claude Cousseau, Véronique Mattiussi, Christina Buley-Uribe, Paris, 2009, fig. no. 2, pp. 102-103, 105, ill.
Louis-Antoine Prat Le Dessin français au XIXe siècle. Somogy Editions d'Art, Paris, 2011, p. 501.
Antoinette Le Normand-Romain Rodin. Abbeville Press, New York and London, 2014, fig. no. 339, pp. 344 and 353, ill.
Thomas Lederballe, Sophie Biass-Fabiani, Natasha Ruiz-Gómez Ecstasies: Drawings by Auguste Rodin. Copenhagen, 2016, cat. no. 42, fig. no. 56, pp. 71, 75, ill.
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