AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917) Mercure debout, étude partielle sans pilier 14 1/4 in (36.3 cm) (height) (Conceived in 1888 and cast by the Musée Rodin in an edition of 12 plus 1 between 1959 and 1965, this version cast in February 1961)
Lot 13
AUGUSTE RODIN
(1840-1917)
Mercure debout, étude partielle sans pilier 14 1/4 in (36.3 cm) (height)
Sold for US$ 31,250 inc. premium

Impressionist & Modern Art

4 Nov 2014, 14:00 EST

New York

Lot Details
AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917) Mercure debout, étude partielle sans pilier 14 1/4 in (36.3 cm) (height) (Conceived in 1888 and cast by the Musée Rodin in an edition of 12 plus 1 between 1959 and 1965, this version cast in February 1961) AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917) Mercure debout, étude partielle sans pilier 14 1/4 in (36.3 cm) (height) (Conceived in 1888 and cast by the Musée Rodin in an edition of 12 plus 1 between 1959 and 1965, this version cast in February 1961) AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917) Mercure debout, étude partielle sans pilier 14 1/4 in (36.3 cm) (height) (Conceived in 1888 and cast by the Musée Rodin in an edition of 12 plus 1 between 1959 and 1965, this version cast in February 1961) AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917) Mercure debout, étude partielle sans pilier 14 1/4 in (36.3 cm) (height) (Conceived in 1888 and cast by the Musée Rodin in an edition of 12 plus 1 between 1959 and 1965, this version cast in February 1961) AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917) Mercure debout, étude partielle sans pilier 14 1/4 in (36.3 cm) (height) (Conceived in 1888 and cast by the Musée Rodin in an edition of 12 plus 1 between 1959 and 1965, this version cast in February 1961) AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917) Mercure debout, étude partielle sans pilier 14 1/4 in (36.3 cm) (height) (Conceived in 1888 and cast by the Musée Rodin in an edition of 12 plus 1 between 1959 and 1965, this version cast in February 1961)
AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917)
Mercure debout, étude partielle sans pilier
signed and numbered 'A. Rodin / No. 5' (on the outer left thigh) and inscribed, dated and with foundry mark '© by Musée Rodin 1961 Georges Rudier Fondeur Paris' (on the lower left leg)
bronze with dark brown patina
14 1/4 in (36.3 cm) (height)
Conceived in 1888 and cast by the Musée Rodin in an edition of 12 plus 1 between 1959 and 1965, this version cast in February 1961

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Musée Rodin, Paris.
    Allan Frumkin, Chicago (acquired from the above in March 1962).
    Charles E. Slatkin Galleries, New York.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.

    Literature
    G. Grappe, Catalogue du Musée Rodin, Paris, 1927, no. 123 (plaster version illustrated, p. 55).
    J.L. Tancock, The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin, Philadelphia, 1976, pp. 250 and 462.
    A. Beausire, Quand Rodin exposait, Paris, 1988, p. 104.
    A. Le Normand-Romain, 'Sculpture' in Rodin en 1900. L'exposition de l'Alma, Paris, 2001, p. 226.
    A. Le Normand-Romain, The Bronzes of Rodin, Catalogue of Works in the Musée Rodin, vol. II, Paris, 1997, p. 514-515 (another cast illustrated).

    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 2014-4456B.

    Mercure was conceived as part of the astonishing outpouring of creativity that was occasioned by Rodin's work on Les Portes de l'Enfer [The Gates of Hell], commissioned by the French State in 1880 for the proposed Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris. The figure of Mercure appears twice in the final version of the Gates, once glimpsed behind and to the right of Le Penseur and the again pitching backwards out of the composition in the upper part of the central jamb.

    The virtuosity of figures such as Mercure was aptly described by John Tancock: 'The limitless space and lack of gravitational pull in the reliefs of the Gates of Hell enabled Rodin to experiment with poses of unprecedented freedom and movements of unparalleled violence. The tormented figures obey no laws of decorum, the last freedom left to them being that of expressing their agony and desolation in total abandon.' (J. Tancock, op. cit., p. 287).
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