Rare Casting of Rodin's Seminal 'Age of Bronze' Top Lot at Bonhams Impressionist & Modern Art Sale in London

A bronze cast of one of Rodin's most famous sculptures, L'Age d'airain (The Age of Bronze), sold for £260,750 at Bonhams Impressionist and Modern Art Sale in London today (28 February). It had an estimate of £100,000-150,000.

Conceived between 1875-1877, L' Age d'airain caused great controversy when it was first shown. The figure was so intensely realistic that critics initially refused to believe Rodin had not simply made a cast of his model. The version of L' Age d'airain in the sale was cast between 1935-1945 by the Alexis Rudier Foundry in Paris and had resided in a private collection for generations.

Bonhams Global Head of Impressionist and Modern Art, India Phillips, said, "This was a beautifully rendered version of a crucially important work in Rodin's career – the piece that brought him to public attention and secured for him the commission for La Porte d'Enfer which absorbed so much of his creative energy for the rest of his life. I am not surprised it was so keenly contested."

Other highlights included:

• Nature morte aux pêches by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Sold for £200,000. Estimate: £100,000-150,000.
• A cast of Rodin's Faunesse à genoux (Kneeling Faun) that sold for £175,000. Estimate £100,000-150,000. It is one of the early studies for a similar figure that appears in Rodin's masterpiece, La Porte de l'Enfer.
• Les mystérieuses by Paul Delvaux. Sold for £175,000. Estimate: £120,000-180,000.


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