Auguste Rodin (French, 1840–1917)
Graphite, pen and brown ink, gouache, and traces of red chalk
11 3/4 x 8 7/16 in. (29.8 x 21.6 cm)
John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1910 (10.66.2)
The Japanese actress Ohta Hisa (18681945), known as Hanako, posed for a number of portrait studies, and Rodin portrayed her mobile face in various media. The pensive mood of the actress in this sketch is disturbed by the disquieting second image of her face as an enigmatic mask. Rodin apparently intended to use Hanako as a living model for a portrait of Beethoven, probably in much the same way that he had used a man of the city of Tours named Estager as the living model for the figure's head in the Monument to Balzac.