Auguste Rodin (French, 18401917)
Marble; H. 28 in. (71.1 cm)
Bequest of Isaac D. Fletcher, 1917 (17.120.184)
The torso of the woman in this group is recognizable as that of a model named Adèle Abruzzezzi. Rodin used it repeatedly, and it appears, for example, in a very different context in The Gates of Hell. Eternal Spring is in a lighter vein, however, full of awakening sensuality and implying neither guilt nor punishment to come. The sculpture was extremely popular, and Rodin repeated it often both in marble and in bronze. In 1898, he sold his plaster foundry models with the reproduction rights for this sculpture and its spiritual twin, The Kiss, to the firm of Ferdinand Barbedienne, the commercial foundry. This marble, commissioned from Rodin in 1906 and finished in March 1907, displays the sensuous, veiled quality of carving that creates an impressionistic play of light and shade on the surface of the medium characteristic of the marbles of Rodin's later career.