The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Rodin's love affair in sculpture in Bonhams Impressionist and Modern Art Sale
Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917) Eternel printemps, second état, 1ère réduction. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- Created at the height of Auguste Rodin’s passionate love affair with the young Camille Claudel, L’Eternel Printemps is one of the French sculptor’s most highly acclaimed works. It will lead Bonhams’ Impressionist and Modern Art sale on 4 February at Bonhams New Bond Street with an estimate of £500,000-700,000.

Claudel, the acclaimed French sculptor, was only 19 when she met Rodin in 1883 – nearly 25 years his junior. She became his pupil and his lover. As the subject of ardent letters, it seems Claudel was the inspiration for the lyrical portrayal of love in L’Eternel Printemps. The sculpture was first conceived in 1884, the same year that Rodin described himself in a letter to “My very dearest,” as “down on both knees before your beautiful body which I embrace.”

L’Eternel Printemps’s raw physicality marks a shift in Rodin’s œuvre from classical, allegorical depictions of love, to more sensual, human representations. He declared in the 1880s: “there is nothing in Nature that has more character that the human body” and encouraged his models to adopt their own poses for L’Eternel Printemps. Well ahead of its time, the sculpture’s earthly spontaneity had to be exhibited initially under chaste mythological titles, such as Zéphyr et la Terre and Cupidon et Psyché, as a nod to social propriety.

Yet Rodin was not approved of everywhere and in 1886 The Times published a negative review of his work. Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island and Rodin’s close friend, publically rose to his defence. As a gesture of gratitude, Rodin gave him a plaster model of L’Eternel Printemps, which Stevenson took with him on his travels around Europe.

“It’s a truly fascinating piece,” said India Phillips, Bonhams Head of Impressionist and Modern Art. “Rodin’s complex structure perfectly complements the erotic sensuality of the figures: for me, L’Eternel Printemps is one of his most dynamic works. It is exciting to see a piece that both so clearly maps his development as an artist and is so closely tied to his personal life.”

It is thought the sculpture was first intended for La Porte de l’Enfer (The Gates of Hell), the monumental sculptural group on display at the Musée d’Orsay. Commissioned in 1880 by the Directorate of Fine Arts in Paris, Rodin worked on La Porte de l’Enfer for the last 37 years of his life. Early photographs show the L’Eternel Printemps positioned in front of the frame for the gates, a compositional idea reflected in Rodin’s original preoccupation with the front view of the piece. It was perhaps the associations with Claudel and the overt joyousness of the lovers in L’Eternel Printemps that prevented the sculpture’s inclusion in the larger work.

The present lot is the largest bronze reduction of L’Eternel Printemps. Measuring 66cm high, it was cast in Rodin’s lifetime between 1905 and 1907. A bronze sculpture of the first state of the work is in the collection at the Musée Rodin in Paris, which reopened in November after significant renovation.

Today's News

January 8, 2016

Matthias Buchinger's drawings from the Collection of Ricky Jay on view at The Met

Exhibition at Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco reflects the broad scope of Peter Hujar's work

Rodin's love affair in sculpture in Bonhams Impressionist and Modern Art Sale

Exhibition of vintage photographs of Lower Manhattan by Bevan Davies opens at Deborah Bell Photographs

Works by Andy Warhol highlight Skinner's American & European Fine Art Auction

Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster headlines RM Sotheby's 2016 Arizona Biltmore Auction

Laurence Miller exhibits works presented at Paris Photo and a solo exhibition of works by Helen Levitt

Chrysler Museum of Art announces 17th-century Dutch art specialist Lloyd DeWitt as new Curator

Major exhibition of Janet Fish's early work opens at DC Moore Gallery in New York

At New York's annual Prototype festival, opera takes new look at trafficking via its culprits

Art Gallery of South Australia appoints inaugural curator of contemporary art and new decorative arts curator

Heroine: A group photography exhibition on view at Elizabeth Houston Gallery

International Slavery Museum's second Collecting Cultures acquisition goes on display in the United States

XL Catlin Art Guide 2016: New Artists in the UK Launches at London Art Fair

Exhibition of new and recent sculpture by Dennis Hollingsworth opens at Hionas Gallery

TEFAF releases 2016 exhibitor list

Spike Lee documentary to explore early Michael Jackson

Exhibition of experimental narrative film and video on view at Raven Row

Robel Temesgen's first United Kingdom solo exhibition opens at Tiwani Contemporary

Something I Can Feel: VOLTA NY announces artists and programming

Subsurface Hell: Sara Ludy's first solo exhibition with bitforms gallery opens in New York

Talking Stones: A photographic sojourn by Elaine Ling published by Kehrer Verlag

National Pavilion UAE announce curatorial theme for 15th Venice Architecture Biennale

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful