Sale 21PT06 | Lot 1009

Auguste Rodin

Catalogue: Impressionist & Modern Art
Auguste Rodin

Lot Details

Lot 1009
Auguste Rodin
French, 1840-1917
Le Baiser, 3ème réduction, dite ausssi "taille no. 3" (The Kiss, 3rd reduction, also called "size no. 3")
Signed Rodin on the front of the rock, at right; stamped with the foundry mark F. BARBEDIENNE. Fondeur on the left side of the base of the rock; with the name Devaux surmounted by the number 20 stamped in the interior near the mounting of the man's right foot; and with the letter S stamped on the lower edge; also in the interior the inscription 68066/ouv 770 written by hand in ink.
Bronze with brown patina
Height 15 1/2 x 9 1/2 x 9 3/4 inches (39.4 x 24.1 x 24.8 cm)

Etablissement Barbedienne, Paris
Galerie Devaux, Paris (acquired from the above in 1907)
Eugene Isaac Meyer (1875-1959), Washington, D. C. (acquired around 1911)
His sister, Aline Meyer Liebman (1879-1966), New York (gift from the above around 1915)
[Sale] Charles and Aline M. Liebman Collection, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, December 7, 1955, lot 34
Maurice B. Hexter, New York (purchased at the above sale)
By descent in the family to the present owner

Buffalo, Albright Art Gallery and traveling to Chicago, Art Institute; Saint Louis, City Art Museum; and Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, "Paintings and Sculptures by Members of the Société de Peintures et Sculptures," Nov. 1911 - Mar. 1912 , no. 126/128, from the collection of Eugene Meyer

Mentioned in the "List of Artists and sculptors represented and titles of their works" in the Academy Notes, Buffalo, N. Y., Nov.- Dec. 1911, no. 4, vol. VI, p. 139
Alain Beausire, Quand Rodin exposait (Paris, 1988), pp. 327-28
Pierre Barryte, Catalogue of the exhibition "Rodin and America," 2011, p. 330
A photograph taken by Adolph de Meyer around 1915 showing Mrs. Aline Meyer Liebman posing with this cast is now in the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts (inv. Ph. 2000.172)

Conceived in 1886, this reduced version of The Kiss was first produced in 1901, with this example being cast on August 16, 1907. This work will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Critique de l'Oeuvre Sculpté d'Auguste Rodin, currently being prepared by the Comité Auguste Rodin at the Galerie Brame et Lorenceau under the direction of Jérôme Le Blay under the archive number 2018-5759B.

The composition that we now know as "The Kiss" (Le Baiser) was originally composed as a figural group to be included in Rodin's monumental bronze portal The Gates of Hell, which was commissioned in 1880 as the entrance to a museum of the decorative arts. The embracing lovers were intended to portray Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini, whose story of forbidden love and eternal damnation was immortalized in Canto V of Dante's Inferno. In 1886 Rodin removed the group from the Gates of Hell--its lyrical sensuality seemed inconsistent with the project's overall theme of divine justice--and reconfigured it as a freestanding work. In 1888 the French Government commissioned a large-scale version of the composition in marble, which was exhibited at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts to enormous acclaim. Other versions in marble were made by Rodin's workshop in the following years. In 1898 Rodin entered into an agreement with the Leblanc-Barbedienne foundry to publish an edition of the composition in bronze in various sizes, of which this piece is one. The Kiss remains to this day one of Rodin's most iconic and best-loved works.

This is the earliest Barbedienne cast of The Kiss known to the Comité Rodin to have come to the United States, and the only one shown in a period photograph (see above). Its provenance is particularly distinguished, including the financier Eugene Isaac Meyer, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, President of the World Bank and publisher of the Washington Post, and other members of his family. After being purchased from the sale of the collection of Aline Meyer Liebman and her husband in 1955, it has remained in the family of the present owner until today.

C Estate of Marjory H. Cohen

Estimate: $250,000 - $350,000
Sold for $289,800 (includes buyer's premium)

Additional Notes & Condition Report

Scattered scratches on the figures and some areas of surface irregularities of the patina.

Any condition statement is given as a courtesy to a client, is an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact and Doyle New York shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. Please contact the specialist department to request further information or additional images that may be available.

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Estimate: $250,000 - $350,000
Sold for $289,800 (includes buyer's premium)

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Catalogue Info

Impressionist & Modern Art

Tue, Nov 09, 2021 at 11am EST
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