AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917) Acrobate (le jongleur) 29cm (11 7/16in). high (Conceived circa 1892 – 1895, this bronze version cast in September 1956 by the Georges Rudier foundry in a numbered edition of 13 plus one unnumbered cast.)

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Lot 4
AUGUSTE RODIN
(1840-1917)
Acrobate (le jongleur)

Sold for £ 62,562 (US$ 80,058) inc. premium
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE LATE GUSTAV DELBANCO
AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917)
Acrobate (le jongleur)
signed, numbered, inscribed and dated 'A. Rodin No. 5 © by musée Rodin 1956' (on underside of the supporting figure's head)
bronze with brown patina with green accents
29cm (11 7/16in). high
Conceived circa 1892 – 1895, this bronze version cast in September 1956 by the Georges Rudier foundry in a numbered edition of 13 plus one unnumbered cast.

Footnotes

  • This work will be included in the forthcoming Auguste Rodin catalogue critique de l'oeuvre sculpté currently being prepared by the Comité Auguste Rodin at Galerie Brame & Lorenceau under the direction of Jérôme Le Blay.

    Provenance
    Musée Rodin, Paris.
    Roland, Browse & Delbanco, London (acquired from the above in February 1957).
    Gustav Delbanco Collection, London.
    Private collection, UK (by descent from the above).

    Exhibited
    Bath, Holborne Museum of Art, In the Public Eye, Treasures from the West of England, 15 October - 8 December 2002, no. 101.
    London, Browse & Darby, Edgar Degas 1834 - 1917 Auguste Rodin 1840 - 1917, Sculpture & Works on Paper, 14 February - 16 March 2018, no. 5.

    Literature
    L. Roger-Milés, 'Rodin', in Figaro Illustré, Vol. 25, no. 15, March 1906 (illustrated p. 78; titled 'Jeux de faune et de nymphe').
    O. Grautoff, Auguste Rodin, Bielefeld & Leipzig, 1908 (another cast illustrated p. 66; titled 'Liebesspiel').
    J. L. Tancock, The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin, The Collection of the Rodin Museum Philadelphia, Philadelphia, 1976 (another cast illustrated p. 53).
    C. Ikegami (ed.), Exposition Rodin au Japon, exh. cat., Paris, 1979 (another cast illustrated no. 71).
    A. E. Elsen, In Rodin's Studio, A Photographic Record of Sculpture in the Making, Oxford, 1980 (the unnumbered cast illustrated pl. 78).
    C. Lampert, Rodin Sculpture & Drawings, exh. cat., London, 1986 (another cast illustrated p. 174).
    M. Laurent, Rodin, Paris, 1988 (another cast illustrated p. 151).
    P. Greenaway, Le Bruit des nuages. Flying out of this world, exh. cat., Paris, 1992 (another cast illustrated p. 66).
    C. Ebneter et. al., Rilke & Rodin, Paris 1902 - 1913, Sierre, 1997 (another cast illustrated p. 175).
    C. Judrin, Rodin et le Japon, exh. cat., Tokyo, 2002 (another cast illustrated p. 225).
    P. Nitti & M. Restellini, Rodin en 1900. L'exposition de l'Alma, exh. cat., Paris, 2001 (another cast illustrated pp. 291 & 318 - 319 and plaster version illustrated p. 238).
    A. E. Elsen, Rodin's Art, The Rodin Collection of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, New York, 2003 (another cast illustrated p. 527).
    A. Le Normand-Romain, The Bronzes of Rodin, Catalogue of Works in the Musée Rodin, Vol. II, Paris, 2007, no. S.597 (another cast illustrated p. 475).

    The present work, together with Rodin's Etude de Damnée (Etude no. 1431) (lot X), belonged to the personal collection of Gustav Delbanco (1903-1997), a prominent London art dealer and partner at Roland, Browse & Delbanco.

    Arriving in London from Nazi Germany in the 1930s, Delbanco established himself as a dealer in Old Master drawings, before opening a gallery of contemporary art on Cork Street with partners Henry Roland and Lillian Browse. Roland, Browse & Delbanco soon became one of the most prestigious galleries in London, one of whose first exhibitions was the work of Rodin, who Delbanco himself collected. His house in Hampstead displayed Rodin bronzes alongside a Degas dancer: ''Compare it to a Rodin', he would say, 'do you see that the Degas is cold – a bit lifeless. You see, Degas didn't like women. Rodin did'' (Delbanco quoted in S. Steven, 'Obituary: Gustav Delanco', The Independent, 13 February 1997).

    Representing a male nude on his back with his legs raised and supporting a precariously balanced cross-legged female nude, this experimental composition illustrates Rodin's fascination with the human form and its range of movement. Dating to circa 1892-1895, Georges Grappe claims that the composition grew from the artist's interest in 'unexpected models or unusual movements' inspired by 'circuses, Montmartre dancehalls, [and] fairground stalls' (Grappe quoted in A. Le Normand-Romain, The Bronzes of Rodin, Catalogue of Works in the Musée Rodin, Vol. II, Paris, 2007, p. 476). In its exaggeration and contortion of the human figure, often observed from live models walking around his studio, Acrobate (le jongleur) prefigures Rodin's 1910-1919 Mouvements de Danse series which celebrated the leaping, twisting bodies of acrobatic and balletic models.
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