Torso of a woman thumbnail 1
Torso of a woman thumbnail 2
+10
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Not currently on display at the V&A
On short term loan out for exhibition

Torso of a woman

Figure
ca. 1914 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The free approach to form, sources and materials that can be seen in Rodin's work anticipates developments in later 20th-century sculpture. He studied and collected classical art, and later in life made assemblages. Here he has placed his bronze torso on a dramatically different plaster cast of a classical marble pedestal from his own collection.

The truncation of the torso makes it more abstract and less naturalistic. Rodin sometimes asked his models to sit on the ground with their back to him, arms and legs outstretched in front. 'In that position'…, he said, …'the back, which narrows at the waist and enlarges at the hips resembles an exquisitely curved vase, an amphora which contains within its flanks the life of the future'. By setting the torso on a classically-derived plinth, Rodin invited viewers to see the bronze as something set apart to be admired, just like an ancient Greek vase.

A recent inspection of the bronze torso has revealed the presence of many of the metal pins that held the sand core in position during the casting process.


object details
Category
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Figure
  • Plinth
Materials and Techniques
Bronze on plaster plinth
Brief Description
Torso, by Auguste Rodin, French, bronze on plaster plinth, ca. 1914
Dimensions
  • Torso height: 62cm
  • Plinth height: 127.5cm
  • Torso weight: 79kg
  • Width: 78cm (Of base (for display purposes))
  • Depth: 55cm (Of base (for display purposes))
Marks and Inscriptions
A. Rodin/ Alexis. Rudier/Fondeur.Paris (Inscribed on base)
Gallery Label
  • This truncated torso looks forward to later twentieth-century developments in sculpture, and contrasts dramatically with the plinth on which the artist placed it: a plaster cast of a classical pillar.(March 2006)
  • Rodin began to make assemblages later in life. Here he displays his bronze of a woman's torso on the plaster cast of a classical marble pedestal. The truncation of the bronze highlights its formal properties, making it more abstract. Rodin's free approach to form, sources and media anticipates developments in later 20th-century sculpture.(June 2007)
Credit line
Given to the Victoria and Albert Museum by Rodin in 1914
Object history
Given by Rodin in November 1914
Summary
The free approach to form, sources and materials that can be seen in Rodin's work anticipates developments in later 20th-century sculpture. He studied and collected classical art, and later in life made assemblages. Here he has placed his bronze torso on a dramatically different plaster cast of a classical marble pedestal from his own collection.



The truncation of the torso makes it more abstract and less naturalistic. Rodin sometimes asked his models to sit on the ground with their back to him, arms and legs outstretched in front. 'In that position'…, he said, …'the back, which narrows at the waist and enlarges at the hips resembles an exquisitely curved vase, an amphora which contains within its flanks the life of the future'. By setting the torso on a classically-derived plinth, Rodin invited viewers to see the bronze as something set apart to be admired, just like an ancient Greek vase.



A recent inspection of the bronze torso has revealed the presence of many of the metal pins that held the sand core in position during the casting process.
Bibliographic References
  • Elsen, Albert E., Rodin's Art, the Rodin Collection of the Iris & B Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, Oxford University Press, Inc., 2003, pp. 570 and 572
  • Alley, R. Tate Gallery Catalogue: Foreign Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture. London, 1959. p. 215.
  • Mitchell, Claudine. The Gift to the British Nation: Rodin at the V&A. In: Mitchell, Claudine. ed.Rodin: The Zola of Sculpture. Henry Moore Institute, 2003. pp. 183-200.
  • Antoinette, Le Normand-Romain. The Bronzes of Rodin: Catalogue of Works in the Musée Rodin. London : Lund Humphries ; Paris : Éditions de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2007. pp. 688-689.
  • Chevillot, Catherine & Le Normand-Romain, Antoinette, eds. Rodin: Le livre du centenaire, exh. cat., 2017, pp. 146-149, cat. 113.
  • Lampert, Catherine, Rodin, London, Royal Academy of Arts, 2006
Collection
Accession Number
A.38:1, 2-1914

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record createdJune 5, 2007
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