Edward J. Steichen (American, born Luxembourg, 1879–1973)
6 1/4 x 3 7/8 in. (15.9 x 9.8 cm)
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1955 (55.635.9)
Albert Elsen's In Rodin's Studio: A Photographic Record of Sculpture in the Making has shown the importance to Rodin of photography, not only in the sale of his sculptures, but also in the process of creation of those sculptures. Elsen cited Eugène Druet as well as a number of others in this connection, but probably no other photographer of Rodin's sculpture has been quite as inspired as Edward Steichen. Steichen visited Rodin for the first time in 1900. He brought a portfolio of his photographs with him and, after looking through the portfolio, Rodin allowed the American to photograph him in his studio. The results have been justly termed "among the best ever made." In this exquisite autochrome, an early type of color transparency, signed and dated 1907, Steichen recorded the aging sculptor clothed in timeless drapery and sitting at the feet of the plaster model of his Eve, a soft-focus image that appears almost as the sculptor's dream.