Madame X

Artist: Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon)

Sitter: Countess Anna-Elizabeth de Noailles

Date: modeled ca. 1907

Culture: French

Medium: Marble

Dimensions: confirmed, overall largest dimensions: 19 1/2 × 21 3/8 × 19 in. (49.5 × 54.3 × 48.3 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Gift of Thomas F. Ryan, 1910

Accession Number: 11.173.6


With half-closed slits for eyes, the poet Countess Anna-Elisabeth de Noailles appears to be in a tranquil dream state. The roughly hewn marble block contrasts with smoother areas—here, the figure’s face and shoulders. Displeased with its seemingly unfinished state (among other things), the Parisian sitter rejected the portrait and asked Rodin not to exhibit it. Thomas Ryan eventually purchased the work for the Metropolitan Museum’s collection, and it was instrumental in establishing the sculptor’s success on this side of the Atlantic.