Auguste Rodin, Man with a broken nose, bronze, signed twice
Lot 2
Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917) Masque de l'homme au nez cassé, version dite type 1, deuxième modèle
Sold for £217,250 (US$ 365,158) inc. premium
Lot Details
Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917)
Masque de l'homme au nez cassé, version dite type 1, deuxième modèle
signed 'A. Rodin' (on the lower right side); with raised signature 'A. Rodin' (on the interior)
bronze with brown patina
30.7cm(12 1/16) (height)
Conceived before 1881; this bronze version cast in 1902-1908 by the Alexis Rudier Foundry


    Vincent Korda, London (circa 1950s).
    Thence by descent to the present owner.

    This work will be included in the forthcoming Auguste Rodin catalogue critique de l'oeuvre sculpté currently being prepared by the Comité Auguste Rodin at Galerie Brame et Lorenceau under the direction of Jérôme Le Blay, under archive number 2012-4019B.

    L'homme au nez cassé was hugely successful during Rodin's lifetime and is considered among the finest examples of his oeuvre prior to his departure for Belgium with Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse in 1870. Rodin himself acknowledged the sculpture as a major work, declaring in 1889 that it was 'the first good piece of modelling I ever did...In fact I have never succeeded in making a figure as good as the Broken Nose.' (A. Rodin quoted in A. Le Normand-Romain, The Bronzes of Rodin, catalogue of works in the Musée Rodin, Paris, 2007, vol.II, p.417).

    The sitter for this tête d'expression was Bibi, a local character on the Faubourg Saint-Marcel, who was the caretaker at Carrier-Belleuse's studio and who sometimes modelled for the students. Rodin created more than twelve iterations of the model, each differing slightly in the conformation of the neck or the form of the opening at the back of the head. This early version was one of the group of bronze casts that Rodin had made from 1881 until his death in 1917. The Musée Rodin issued posthumous editions of the model from 1919 to 1979.

    Vincent Korda, to whom this early cast belonged, was a Hungarian-born art director and artist who settled in Britain in the 1930s. In his long and successful career he was nominated for four Academy Awards: That Hamilton Woman (1941), The Longest Day (1962), The Jungle Book (1942) and The Thief of Baghdad (1940), for which he won the Oscar. Vincent Korda was the younger brother of the renowned filmmakers Alexander and Zoltán Korda.
  1. William O'Reilly
    Specialist - Impressionist and Modern Art
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +1 212 644 9135
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