Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) Mouvement de danse E (excluding base)
Lot 5*
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) Mouvement de danse, étude type E (excluding base)
Sold for £39,650 (US$ 66,330) inc. premium
Lot Details
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)
Mouvement de danse, étude type E
signed and numbered 'A. Rodin/ No.6' (on the bottom of the extended foot) and dated '© by Musée Rodin 1956' (on the hand holding the ankle)
bronze with green patina
37.1 x 18.3 cm (14 5/8 x 7 3/16 in).(excluding base)
Conceived circa 1911, this bronze version cast by the Georges Rudier Foundry, between the end of 1956 and January 1957


    Musée Rodin, Paris.
    Robert Ertisch, New York (acquired from the above, 1957).
    Galerie Gérald Cramer, Geneva.
    Mary, Viscountess Eccles, acquired from the above, 13 October 1958.
    Anon. sale, Christie's New York, 5 May 2004, lot 261.
    Acquired from the above sale by the present owner.

    R. Descharnes and J.F. Chabrun, Auguste Rodin, Lausanne, 1967, p.250 & 252 (terracotta version illustrated, fig.B).
    I. Jianou and C. Goldscheider, Rodin, Paris, 1967, p.113.

    This bronze will be included in the archives of the forthcoming Auguste Rodin Catalogue critique de l'oeuvre sculpté currently being prepared by the Comité Rodin at Galerie Brame et Lorenceau under the direction of Monsieur Jérôme Le Blay under the archive no.2004-455B.

    Fascinated by the challenge of capturing movement by both two dimensional and three dimensional means, Rodin executed the series of nine figures entitled Mouvements de danse, A to I, circa 1911. Marking one of the last areas of research in his illustrious career, Rodin took a keen interest in dance and non-classical ballet. It has been suggested that both the popular can-can dancers in the Montmartre dance halls and Loïe Fuller's veil dances at the Folies-Bergères inspired this new direction. At the same time the artist befriended the famous American dancer Isadora Duncan, who opened a studio near the sculptor's own atelier in Meudon where Rodin would study and sketch her students in numerous poses.

    In these later years Rodin would draw moving figures in a continuous method, without taking his eyes off the model, in an effort to transfer the dancer's sense of fluidity to the page. It has been suggested that he also modelled his clay figures in the same way and certainly a sense of immediacy is conveyed in the present work, Mouvement de danse E, through the subjugation of detail in favour of an all-over tactility. The dancer lifts the heel of one foot lightly off the base, contrasting to the enormous power of her proudly uplifted arm and outstretched leg. Caught in a moment of perfect balance and strength, Rodin conveys his admiration for the dancer and her art.

    Never exhibited in his lifetime, the plaster versions of Mouvements de danse series remain in the collection of the Musée Rodin, which cast them posthumously in bronze.

    According to the available information, the first cast of the work was created by the Musée Rodin from the Alexis Rudier foundry in 1952. Twelve examples were then later cast from the Georges Rudier foundry between 1952 and 1956. One may note that the foundry stamps and numbering witnessed on the various studies within the Mouvements de danse are particularly irregular as they pertain to the specific wish of the fondeur. The various studies of Mouvements de danse were not cast in bronze before 1950, it was at this time that the Musée Rodin rediscovered the original clay maquettes in their storage.
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  1. Deborah Allan
    Specialist - Impressionist and Modern Art
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
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