Auguste Rodin, Henri Becque, 1883-1887

Artist: Auguste Rodin (1840 - 1917)
Title:Henri Becque, 1883-1887
Reference:Delteil 9; Thorson 7
Medium:Original Drypoint Etching on cream laid paper
Image Size:7 3/4 in x 6 in (19.7 cm x 15.3 cm)
Sheet Size:8 in x 6 1/4 in (20.3 cm x 15.9 cm)
Framed Size:approx. 18 in x 16 1/4 in (45.7 cm x 41.3 cm)
Edition:This work is from the fourth state (of five), numbered 59 (from the total edition of 100) in pencil in Rodin's hand in the lower right.
Signature:Hand signed by Auguste Rodin (Paris, 1840 - Meudon, 1917) in the lower right with the initials 'AR.'
Condition:This work is in excellent condition, a superb impression with huge margins.
ID #w-3310
$10,000 $5,000

Historical Description

Auguste Rodin Henri Becque, 1883-1887; Created between 1883 and 1887, this work is an example of the fourth state of this important image. The piece is on a fine laid cream paper and is signed in the lower right-hand corner with the initials "AR." and the edition number "59". Examples of this work, from this state and signed with initials can be found in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, and The Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.

In her book Rodin Graphics: A Catalogue Raisonné of Drypoints and Book Illustrations, Victoria Thorson states the following regarding this piece: "Three different views of the head dramatically confront each other and the viewer in the drypoint Henri Becque. The drypoint was copied from the terra-cotta bust, perhaps with the aid of an intermediary drawing. Chronologies assign the bust to the year 1883 or 1886, and Rodin dates the drypoint after the bust to 1887 in his letter to M. Bourcard.

In the drypoint, the three different views of the bust, two of them slightly askew from strict left and right profiles, and a third nearly full front view in the center, appear staged like the three Horatii of David. The theatrical composition may be intentional as Henri Becque (1837-1900), a close friend of Rodin, was a well-known dramatist and restorer of great realistic comedy. A copy of his masterpiece, Les Corbeaux, written in 1882, along with the Honnetes Femmes are in Rodin's library with dedications to the sculptor" (Thorson, 40).

Catalogue Raisonné & COA:

Auguste Rodin etching Henri Becque, 1883-1887 is fully documented and referenced in the below catalogue raisonnés and texts (copies will be enclosed as added documentation with the invoices that will accompany the final sale of the work).

1. Champigneulle, B., Rodin, 1967, page 256, plate 124.

2. Delteil, L., Le Peintre-Graveur Illustré Rude Barye Carpeaux Rodin, 1969, documented and illustrated as Rodin cat. no. 9.

3. Elsen, A., Rodin's Art: The Rodin Collection of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, 2003, page 302, Fig. 248.

4. Elsen, A. and J. Kirk T. Varnedoe, The Drawings of Rodin, 1971, page 67, plate 50.

5.Thorson, Victoria, Rodin Graphics: A Catalogue Raisonné of Drypoints and Book Illustrations, listed on pages 40-45.

6. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this work.

About the Framing:

Auguste Rodin etching Henri Becque, 1883-1887 is framed to museum-grade, conservation standards, presented in a complimentary moulding and finished with silk-wrapped mats and optical grade Plexiglas.