The Met: Auguste Rodin, thru January 15, 2018 ……. UPDATE

Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon). The Thinker.Founder: Cast by Alexis Rudier (French). Modeled ca. 1880, cast ca. 1910. Bronze. Overall (wt. confirmed): 27 5/8 in., 185 lb. (70.2 cm, 83.9 kg) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Thomas F. Ryan, 1910.


Rodin at The Met

thru January 15, 2018

The Met celebrates its historic connections to Rodin through an exhibition of his sculptures in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Sculpture Gallery. The nearly 60 marbles, bronzes, plasters, and terracottas represent over a century of acquisitions and gifts to the museum. Included are iconic works such as The Thinker and The Hand of God as well as masterpieces such as The Tempest that have not been on view in decades. Paintings from The Met collection by Rodin’s contemporaries and friends, including Claude Monet and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, complement the sculptures on display.

The extraordinary range of The Met’s holdings of Rodin’s work is also highlighted in a related focus exhibition, Rodin on Paper, a selection of Rodin’s drawings, prints, letters, and illustrated books, as well as photographs by Edward Steichen of the master sculptor and his art.


Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon) Eternal Spring, modeled ca. 1881, carved 1907 Modeled ca. 1881, carved 1907. Marble. Overall (wt. confirmed): 28×29×18 in., 433 lb. (71.1 × 73.7 × 45.7 cm, 196.4 kg). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Isaac D. Fletcher, 1917.


The Met’s relationship with Rodin began in the first decade of the 1900s when the sculptor was at the height of his international fame. Museum benefactors like Thomas Fortune Ryan encouraged collaboration with the artist to form a collection of his work.  Marbles were acquired directly from Rodin’s studio, bronzes were cast at the museum’s request, and the sculptor also donated plaster and terracotta models. During these years, the museum also actively acquired Rodin’s graphic art.

In 1912, The Met opened a gallery dedicated to Rodin’s sculptures and drawings, the first at the museum devoted exclusively to the work of a living artist. Displayed in that gallery were almost 30 sculptures, and by 1913, 14 drawings and watercolors. At this time Rodin wrote to the museum’s director, Andrew Robinson, describing how happy it made him to augment the museum’s collections, knowing how tastefully the gallery was arranged. 

In the late 20th century, the historic core of The Met’s Rodin collection was magnificently enhanced by Iris and B. Gerald Cantor and their Foundation’s gifts of over 30 sculptures, many of them posthumous editions authorized by the artist, as well as funding for a new gallery in which to display the collection. 

Today, The Met’s holdings of Rodin’s art are among the largest in the United States. Their strength lies in their breadth and depth, and their capacity to unite Rodin’s lifetime achievement with his enduring sculptural legacy.  

Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon). The Tempest. Carved before 1910. Marble. Overall (confirmed): 13 5/8 x 14 7/8 x 7 3/4 in., 73lb. (34.6 x 37.8 x 19.7 cm, 33.1126kg); Footprint of sculpture (confirmed): 14 1/2 x 6 1/2 in. (36.8 x 16.5 cm); Length of rod mount: 2 9/16 in. (6.5 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Thomas F. Ryan, 1910.

Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon). The Embrace. 1900–1910. Graphite, watercolor, and gouache on cream wove paper. 12 13/16 x 9 7/8 in. (32.5 x 25.1 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1910.

Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon). Orpheus and Eurydice. Modeled probably before 1887, carved 1893. Overall (confirmed (wt. on pallet)): 48 3/4 × 31 1/8 × 25 3/8 in., 914 lb. (123.8 × 79.1 × 64.5 cm, 414.6 kg). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Thomas F. Ryan, 1910.



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