Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)
Celle qui fut la Belle Heaulmière, 1889
Charcoal and stump - 53.3 x 38.6 cm
Paris, Musée Rodin
Photo : Galerie de Bayser
26/3/14 - Acquisition - Paris, Musée Rodin - We all know his female nudes sketched sur le vif, freely depicting varying attitudes, charged with eroticism - some sheets recently resurfaced at the Musée Clemenceau - but here the Musée Rodin has acquired a representation of an old woman, her back curved by age, from the Galerie de Bayser and exhibited at the Salon du Dessin.
Rodin’s watercolors and drawings are generally separate from his sculptures, works in themselves. However, the sheet which recently joined the museum collections, dedicated to Maurice Guillemot, a reporter and art critic, is tied to Formerly, the Belle Heaulmière. The theme, inspired from a poem by François Villon, first appeared on the Gates of Hell in 1880, then was repeated on a Sèvres vase produced by Rodin and Jules Desbois in 1888-1889. The two artists used the same model - Marie Caira - who sat for Desbois in Death and the Woodcutter (now lost) and La Misère ; she also inspired Camille Claudel, notably for Clotho. Rodin represented this flaccid flesh and tired body in bronze, plaster and marble, naming it Celle qui fut la Belle Heaulmière or Winter (1880-1883) and in a later group A Dried Up Spring (1899), also a strong title... Christina Buley-Uribe, in the catalogue raisonné for the artist suggests in fact that the drawing should be associated with this last work.