Auguste Rodin (French, 18401917)
Bronze; H. 41 3/4 in. (106 cm)
Gift of Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, 1984 (1984.364.15)
This study differs little from the finished Monument to Balzac except that it is less than half the size. It was preceded by studies of the dressing gown alone, a simulation of one that Balzac preferred to wear when writing. A study of the full figure wrapped in the dressing gown followed. The final study, simplified and more a symbol than a portrait, attempted to convey a strength of character analogous to the power of Balzac's prose. It has been said that in the attempt, Rodin created the first truly modern sculpture.