Lot n° 169
20000 - 30000
Auguste RODIN (1840-1917)
Portrait of the Duc de Rohan, 1910
Bronze proof, green patina with brown shading, signed Alexis Rudier, founder, Paris.
Height: 46 cm
good condition, some minor patina wear, tiny scratches
- Duc de Rohan.
- By descent to the present owners.
- Rodin et le bronze, catalog des œuvres conservées au musée Rodin II, by Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, Éditions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, Paris 2007, described on pages 631 and 632 with the indication: Bronzes, fonte Alexis Rudier, three copies in 1910, two of which were acquired by the Duc de Rohan, 1911.
- Marie Murat L'éveil des émotions, 1898-1907, by Salomé Murat Chalandon, 2018, reproduced on page 22.
The Musée Rodin holds a portrait of the Duc de Rohan (S.782) in which the base is different, en pointe mounted on a pedestal plinth.
The archives of the Musée Rodin contain a letter from the sculptor to the Duchesse de Rohan [Paris or Meudon, shortly before April 15, 1910] (Inventory L 1049), which is reproduced below:
A la duchesse de Rohan à sa Grâce la Duchesse de Rohan Permettez moi de vous envoyer, des cartes pour le President, et le lendemain Vernissage, le buste de Monsieur le duc est a l'entrée du salon en bas. This bust is still a sculpture that will be finished on the chest when executed in marble. One of the busts, which was at the Georges Petit exhibition, will also be in bronze. The Minister would be happy to have one of these bronze proofs for the Luxembourg'. If I meet you tomorrow around 3 o'clock at the Sculpture, I hope that Monsieur Dujardin Beaumetz will ask you and Monsieur le Duc de Rohan in particular.
Yours faithfully, Madame.
Your servant Aug Rodin
The catalog of works conserved at the Musée Rodin says of the Duc de Rohan: Heir to a prestigious lineage, Charles de Rohan (1844-1914), eleventh duke of the House of Rohan-Chabot, was "one of the most sympathetic figures of the French aristocracy" .... Known for his fine, cultured mind and sound aesthetic taste, he was a great admirer of Rodin, both as an artist and as a friend.
Lodging in Paris, close to the Hôtel Biron, he regularly invited the sculptor to dinner parties from 1907 onwards. The two men's sympathies were mutual, yet it took the duke's eldest daughter, Princess Marie Murat, to urge [her] father to have her bust made by Rodin. She seems to have needed great skill to convince this busy, active man to pose. The sessions nevertheless began in the spring of 1909, and the duke was delighted with the time he spent with the sculptor; in June, he declared himself "very happy to see [him] again" and said he was "at [his] disposal".
The final bust is thus "the culmination of a series of intense sessions and an in-depth knowledge of the subject". ... Rodin multiplied the studies, working on the inclination of the head, left straight or leaning slightly backwards, before placing it on a vividly modeled base of varying height.
Return to catalogue