L'Éternel Printemps by Auguste Rodin
L'Éternel Printemps by Auguste Rodin L'Éternel Printemps by Auguste Rodin L'Éternel Printemps by Auguste Rodin L'Éternel Printemps by Auguste Rodin L'Éternel Printemps by Auguste Rodin L'Éternel Printemps by Auguste Rodin L'Éternel Printemps by Auguste Rodin L'Éternel Printemps by Auguste Rodin
L'Éternel Printemps by Auguste Rodin

L'Éternel Printemps by Auguste Rodin

  • Two lovers share a passionate embrace in this rare bronze by the great Auguste Rodin
  • Entitled L'Éternel Printemps, the work was originally intended for his famed The Gates of Hell
  • As a stand-alone sculpture, it became immensely popular after it was shown at the Salon of 1897
  • Full of emotion and dynamic movement, it is regarded among Rodin's greatest masterpieces
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Item No. 30-8674
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Auguste Rodin
1840-1917 | French

L'Éternel Printemps
(The Eternal Spring)


Bronze with brown patina
Signed "Rodin" (on base)

Perhaps one of the most well-known and celebrated sculptures of his oeuvre, Auguste Rodin's passionate bronze L'Éternel Printemps is truly the embodiment of this artist's rare genius. Conceived in 1884, the bronze is regarded as one of the masterpieces of his mature output, conveying a sensuality and aura of passionate love from each and every angle.

The work was conceived by Rodin during an intense period of work when he constructed his monumental sculptural group The Gates of Hell based on Dante's Inferno. L'Éternel Printemps was originally intended to be a part of the group - it represents the adulterous passion of Dante's Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta. Yet, upon its completion, the bronze was deemed too joyful to be included with the more tragic representations that adorned his Gates. Instead, Rodin executed it as a stand-alone sculpture, and it was subsequently exhibited at the Salon of 1897. The Kiss, another masterpiece by the sculptor, shares a similar origin and subject, though L'Éternel Printemps is more dynamic in its pose.

Like many of his major works, Rodin looked back to one of his previous models in order to develop his amorous lovers. The female figure is based on his sensuous Torso of Adèle (Musée Rodin, Paris), which appears in the upper left-hand corner of the tympanum of The Gates of Hell. L'Éternel Printemps is also believed to resemble Camille Claudel, a sculptor with whom Rodin began a passionate affair after she joined his studio in 1882. The autobiographical element of Rodin's own forbidden love perhaps accounts for the work's intimacy and intensity. His lovers are fused together in a precarious balance of limbs and curves, caught in an intense moment of passion and emotion. Animated by the upward gesture of the man and the sway of the woman's body, the sculpture is a tour de force of daring movement and dynamic amour.

After its successful showing at the Salon of 1897, Rodin awarded the casting of the bronze to the Barbedienne foundry in 1898. The first state of the bronze was difficult for the founder to produce, as its male model's arm and leg both protruded from the grouping. Thus, Rodin created the second state, adding rocks to the composition in order to increase its stability. The present work is the second state, second reduction, meaning it is the second largest of four bronzes from the second state. Other versions of the bronzes can be found in museums worldwide, including the Musée Rodin (Paris), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Philadelphia Museum of Art, and others.

Auguste Rodin is counted among the greatest artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries along with names such as Van Gogh, Monet and Renoir. In the history of sculpture, he occupies a place even more important than his painterly contemporaries, for he alone revived the art of sculpture, returning it to prominence among mainstream art. During the mid 1870s, after two decades of struggling as an artist, Rodin visited Italy and studied the works of Michelangelo, who inspired his first major work, The Bronze Age. Exhibited in Brussels in 1877, it was so well received that the State purchased the piece in 1880, which led to the commission of The Gates of Hell. His works, so naturalistic and expressive in detail, were far removed from conventional, decorative sculpture. He made sculpture a vehicle for personal expression after it had declined to merely decoration and sterile monument.

This important work is accompanied by a letter from the Comité Auguste Rodin confirming it will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Critique de l’Oeuvre Sculpté d’Auguste Rodin by Jérôme Le Blay.

Conceived in 1884; cast between 1905-1910

20 3/8" high x 27" wide x 13" deep
specifications
Artist: Rodin, Auguste
Period: 1816-1918
Origin:France
Material:Nudes
Depth:13.0 Inches
Width:27.0 Inches
Height:20.375 Inches
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