"Balzac Nude Study" by Auguste Rodin

Your Price: $2,785.00
Item No.: 836
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When Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917) received the commission from the Societe des Gens de Lettres in 1891 to execute a monument to Balzac, he offered to complete a 10-foot high bronze figure within a period of eighteen months.  What followed was a seven-year period of intensive contemplation of the life of this prolific writer, and one of the most memorable testaments to creative genius.  Rodin's depiction of Balzac signified a departure from the allegorical sculpture of the nineteenth century and marked a culmination of his long involvement with monumental public sculpture.  The artist himself regarded this as his most important and daring work, "the sum of a whole lifetime of effort, the mainspring of my esthetic theory.  From the day of its conception, I was a changed man."
Although Rodin never personally met Honore de Balzac, and was only a child at the time of the great writer's death, he had considered the project for the monument for many years.  Once officially assigned the task, the artist embarked on an extensive campaign of research, consulting texts by and about the author, as well as earlier portraits by other artists.  He even obtained the proportions of Balzac's body from his tailor for use in creating appropriate models for the statue.
Balzac Nude Study is one of the preliminary studies for the final monumental composition of Balzac.  In all of them, Rodin's concept was naturalistic in inspiration.  In one version, the figure is dressed in contemporary costume and leans against a pile of books.  Rodin soon realized, however, that these attempts to recreate the outward appearance of the writer would never succeed in conveying his intensity and the magnitude of his literary contributions.  This celebrated study of Balzac in the nude, probably originally executed in 1892, represented a shift in Rodin's concept as he moved away from the relatively conventional early studies in the direction of this much more dynamic expression.
The figure of Balzac stands legs wide apart and arms crossed over his powerful girth.  Between his legs is a sort of tree stump -- an unnecessary support for the piece -- which emphasizes Balzac as being a man who grew up on the land, a force of nature.
When castings of this piece come onto the market, they regularly achieve prices of almost a million dollars.  Our casting was made after one of Rodin's castings and preserves the great detail of the original.  Please click on the thumbnail images above to see additional views.
We have cast Balzac in our own California art foundry using 90 lbs. (41 kg) of pure bronze.  The sculpture is finished with a classic bronze patina in tones of browns.  Mounted onto a black marble base, it stands a substantial 30" high by 17" wide.
This is a fine bronze sculpture, made to the highest standards.  We guarantee your satisfaction.
For more information or to arrange international shipment, please send email to info@artbronze.com or call us at 818.897.2222.

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