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Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)
Eustache de Saint-Pierre, Type A Head
H. 33.7 cm ; W. 21.3 cm ; D. 24.8 cm
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Rodin considered heads, like hands, to be works in their own right, the bearers of meaning and expression. He treated them with painstaking care, highlighting their independence and their force. As with his figures, he modelled them after sitters chosen according to their geographical origin. Influenced by the theory of climates expounded in the 18th century, he believed that there was a morphological type specific to each region. He therefore asked his painter friend Jean-Charles Cazin, who was born in the Pas-de-Calais region, to pose for him.
His facial features and bone structure are however more easily recognizable in the second maquette than in the final version of the head. All the energy and determination of the subject portrayed are concentrated in the sharp contours and hollow features of this head, while the medium used here, terracotta, instils an even stronger sense of presence.