RODIN, Auguste (1840 - 1917)
Size: 173.0 cm
Acquired: 1952; Bequest; Gwendoline Davies
Accession Number: NMW A 2498
Collection: The Davies Sisters Collection
Rodin began this work as one of a pair of colossal figures of Adam and Eve after the Fall. They were intended to flank his bronze Gates of Hell commissioned in 1880 for the School of Decorative Arts in Paris. Eve's despairing pose recalls Michelangelo's marble Captives in the Louvre. Rodin explained the circumstances in which this figure was abandoned: 'Without knowing why, I saw my model changing. I modified my contours, naively following the successive transformations of ever-amplifying forms. One day, I learned she was pregnant...it aided the character of my figure singularly...my model found the studio too cold; she came less frequently, then not at all. That is why my "Eve" is unfinished.' This figure was not exhibited at the Salon until 1899, when it was placed directly on the ground, without a pedestal. The bronze edition to which this work belongs was cast by Alexis Rudier, who became Rodin's founder in 1902. It was purchased by Gwendoline Davies in 1916.