Search for over 100 million sold objects in our Price Bank

Figure de l'homme qui marche, moyen modèle
Sold

About the object

The powerful physicality and expressive force of LHomme qui marche, striding into the twentieth century and beyond, is undeniable; at once deeply modern and appealing to contemporary collectors while also firmly rooted in the art of Ancient Greece. The genesis of the sculpture is revealing of Rodins experimental working methods and his great fascination with the partial figure, redolent of excavated sculptural fragments of Roman and Greek art. Here he combines a pair of legs modeled for his sculpture St. John the Baptist (see fig. 1) in the late 1870s with a clay torso he discovered in the studio, cracked and with deep fissures, now resembling an antique sculpture. The initial idea for St. John the Baptist was born when an Italian laborer called Cesidio Pignatelli came to Rodin's studio to offer his services as a model. Rodin later remembered how he had stepped onto the stand, planted his legs firmly and opened them up "like a compass. The stance was so true...that I cried out: ''But that's a man walking!" (François Dujardin-Beaumetz, Entretiens avec Rodin, Paris, 1992, p. 65). Sometime before 1900, the artist assembled the pair of legs with the well-aged clay torso he found in his studio. The angle and positioning of the legs is slightly different from those of St John the Baptist; rather than facing forward, the torso is placed at an angle to the left, accentuating the forward motion of the figure and its dynamism. By choosing to keep both feet firmly planted on the ground and distribute the figure's weight equally across both, entirely at odds with academic sculpture conventions, Rodin meditates on the representation of movement in its essence and depicts the moments at the beginning and the end of a step rather than the motion itself. This was surely informed by the artist's great interest in photography and the advances in the representation of motion in film.\nRodin seized on this opportunity to assemble an entirely new form, lacking a head and arms and thus anonymous yet immensely moving and powerful in his never-ending journey. He commented: "My Walking Man. He's not interested in himself...but rather in the idea of the step that he has taken and the one he must take next. This art that, through suggestion, goes beyond the sculpted figure and makes him part of a whole that the imagination gradually recomposes is, I believe, a fertile innovation" (Paul Gsell, Propos de Rodin sur lart et les artistes in La Revue, no. 21, November 1, 1907, p. 100).\nThis composition indeed captured the imagination of Rodin's peers and patrons. Karl Wittgenstein ordered a cast in 1907, Henry Moore owned a small LHomme qui marche  and the subject was undoubtedly greatly influential for Boccionis Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913) and Alberto Giacometti, himself a great admirer of the French sculptor's work and his own series on the subject of the Walking Man (conceived in 1947 and 1960; see fig. 2). Rodin gifted one of the plasters for this series to photographer Edward Steichen, who had produced haunting nocturnal photographs of Rodins Balzac monument, and reportedly told him that it was a symbol meant to encourage him to keep going one step further (quoted in Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, op.cit., p. 425). Swedish artist Anders Zorn described LHomme qui marche at an exhibition in October 1907 as the companion piece to the Victory of Samothrace created by a twentieth century man of genius (ibid., p. 425; see fig. 3).\nRodin enlarged the initial plaster just beyond life size and in 1912 he exhibited it in the French embassy in Rome, the extraordinary High-Renaissance Palazzo Farnese. The palazzo was designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger in 1517 and later altered by Michelangelo. Rodin would have undoubtedly derived great pleasure from exhibiting his homage to Ancient and Renaissance sculpture in this context.\n\nThis work will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Critique de l'oeuvre sculpté d'Auguste Rodin being currently prepared by Galerie Brame & Lorenceau under the direction of Jérôme Le Blay under the archive number 2008-2178B.\nInscribed A. Rodin and with the foundry mark .Georges Rudier..Fondeur.Paris., dated © by Musée Rodin 1960; stamped with the raised signature A. Rodin (on the interior)
US
NY, US
US

medium

Bronze

creator

Rodin, Auguste

condition

The work exhibits a variegated green and black patina. There is very minor rubbing to the patina around the base. There is light surface dirt in the crevices. The sculpture is in overall excellent condition. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

dimensions

Height: 33 in.

exhibition

New York, Charles E. Slatkin Galleries; Montreal, Museum of Fine Arts & traveling, Auguste Rodin, 1840-1917: An Exhibition of Sculptures and Drawings, 1963-65, no. 63, illustrated in the catalogue Roslyn, New York, Nassau County Museum of Art, Long Island Collects: The Figure & Landscape, 1870's–1980's, 1990, n.n. Roslyn, New York, Nassau County Museum of Art, Master Artworks from Private Collections, 2005, n.n.

literature

Georges Grappe, Catalogue du Musée Rodin, vol. I, Paris, 1927, no. 15, illustration of another cast p. 29 Judith Cladel, Rodin: Sa vie glorieuse et inconnue, Paris, 1936, pp. 132-33 & 275 Anita Leslie, Rodin: Immortal Peasant, New York, 1937, p. 304 Georges Grappe, Catalogue du Musée Rodin, Paris, 1938, illustration of another cast pp. 16-17 Victor Frisch & Joseph T. Shipley, Auguste Rodin: A Biography, New York, 1939, illustration of another cast fig. 32 Georges Grappe, Catalogue du Musée Rodin, Paris, 1944, illustration of another cast pp. 16-17 Edouard Herriot, Rodin, Zurich, 1949, illustration of another cast pp. 78-79 Marcel Aubert, Rodin Sculptures, Paris, 1952, illustration of another cast pp. 14-15 Cécile Goldscheider, Rodin, Paris, 1962, illustration of another cast p. 56 Albert E. Elsen, Auguste Rodin, New York, 1963, illustration of another cast pp. 28 & 30 Alan Bowness, Modern Sculpture, London, 1965, illustration of another cast p. 15 Bernard Champigneulle, Rodin, Paris, 1967, illustration of another cast pp. 57-59 Ionel Jianou & Cécile Goldscheider, Rodin, Paris, 1967, illustration of another cast pl. 10 Robert Descharnes & Jean-François Chabrun, Auguste Rodin, Paris, 1967, illustration of another cast p. 213; illustration of the plaster version p. 55 Albert E. Elsen, "The Sculpture of Matisse, Part I" in Artforum, September 1968, vol. 7, illustrations of another cast pp. 22-26 William Tucker, The Language of Sculpture, London, 1974, illustration of another cast pp. 144-45 John L. Tancock, The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin, Philadelphia, 1976, no. 65-1, illustration of another cast p. 365 Yvon Taillandier, Rodin, New York, 1978, illustration of another cast p. 6 Albert E. Elsen, In Rodin's Studio: A Photographic Record of Sculpture in the Making, Ithaca, 1980, illustrations of another cast pls. 132-34 Albert E. Elsen, Purposes of Art, New York, 1981, illustration of another cast p. 345 Hélène Pinet, Rodin: Sculpteur et les photographes de son temps, Paris, 1985, no. 36, illustration of another cast p. 48 Monique Laurent, Rodin, Paris, 1988, illustration of another cast p. 33 Cécile Goldscheider, Rodin: Vie et oeuvre, catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre sculpté, 1840-1886, vol. I, Lausanne & Paris, 1989, no. 103a, illustration of another cast p. 131 Dominique Jarrassé, Rodin, la passion du mouvement, Paris, 1993, illustrations of another cast pp. 48-49 Albert E. Elsen, Rodin's Art, New York, 2003, no. 174, illustrations of other versions pp. 546 & 548-50 Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, The Bronzes of Rodin: Catalogue of Works in the Musée Rodin, vol. II, Paris, 2007, no. S.495, illustrations of other casts pp. 420-22

provenance

Museé Rodin, Paris Charles E. Slatkin Galleries, New York (acquired from the above in May 1963) Acquired from the above on May 17, 1963

signedDate

Inscribed A. Rodin and with the foundry mark .Georges Rudier..Fondeur.Paris., dated © by Musée Rodin 1960; stamped with the raised signature A. Rodin (on the interior)

time_period

Conceived in 1899-1900 and cast in an edition of 8 between 1955-65 by the Georges Rudier foundry; this example cast in September 1960.

time_range_end

1960

artist_range_end

1917

time_range_start

1899

artist_range_start

1840

consignmentDesignation

Property from the Collection of Helen & Monte Getler

creator_nationality_dates

1840 - 1917


*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.

*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.


Advert
Advert

Sold objects

L'HOMME QUI MARCHE I
Sold

L'HOMME QUI MARCHE I

Realised Price
65,001,250 GBP

Seated Figure
Sold

Seated Figure

Realised Price
28,103,125 GBP

Figure Writing Reflected in Mirror
Sold

Figure Writing Reflected in Mirror

Realised Price
27,602,738 GBP

Study of Nude with Figure in a Mirror
Sold

Study of Nude with Figure in a Mirror

Realised Price
19,956,500 GBP

L'homme est en mer
Sold

L'homme est en mer

Realised Price
16,882,500 GBP

Sold

Grande figure

Realised Price
17,933,750 GBP

Sold

Kandinsky, Wassily

Realised Price
17,914,257 GBP

Sold

Figure Turning

Realised Price
13,358,480 GBP

Sold

Marshall, Kerry James

Realised Price
15,329,127 GBP