Study of a nude female figure (Satyress)

Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon)
Graphite and watercolor on paper
Sheet: 9 13/16 x 12 3/4 in. (25 x 32.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Georgia O'Keeffe, 1965
Accession Number:
Not on view
Signature: In graphite at lower right: :"A Rodin"

Inscription: In graphite diagonally across backing: "Woman Supreme (Stieglitz title) / by Rodin / This Rodin drawing was sent to me by / Rodin through Steichen. I had spent a Sunday morning in 1911 / at Rodin's Meudon studio with Steichen and Clara and / Rodin told Steichen to let me see anything I wanted to. / I saw hundreds of amazing drawings amongst other things / and this one I fell in love with - Never thinking it could / become "mine". A day or two later Rodin had Steichen bring me to his / Paris home as he wanted to see me about something particular. I was / introduced to his secretary who disappeared within a few minutes. A fine looking / fellow. I had not listened to the name. In later years I discovered that this "fellow" was Rilke. / The Marquise de Choiseul (née Condert of N.Y.) joined Rodin, Steichen & myself for the private séance / I had been told she was Rodins misstress [sic] at the time and dominated him. Rodin, having seen the Rodin / Number of Camera Work, which took him completely unawares, he not knowing that I was getting it out / was so overwhelmed by the spirit reflected in this issue that he said to me "I knew my spirit would / be best understood in America and this is proof". He then told me he had an idea and that was / that I should publish in a portfolio 50 of his best drawings, natural size in color and in / Black & White like in Camera Work and 50 Steichen photographs in photogravure of his / best pieces of sculpture. An edition of 100 copies to be published at 1000 fr. each / He Rodin getting the 100 subscribers. In short it was to be a sort of testament / and he was sure I was the man to take charge of it. The suggestion naturally / staggered me and I told him I'd have to think it over as I was not / a publisher and as I lived in America and the work to be done in Munich / by my friend Goetz I didn't see how I could assume such / a great responsibility. Still I'd think it over. Steichen / afterwards said to me "You must do it. Just think of / the position that would give 291 [Stieglitz' gallery]". But Steichen didn't / see as far ahead as I did I think of / "the position of 291". About a year later Steichen / wrote to me that Rodin was becoming very / impatient. At that time already I feared / war and all sorts of complications / and finally in 1913 definitely / regretted to say positively / "No." / AS / per WE". [Backing with this long inscription is in package "O'Keeffe-Rodin frames" in stacks.]

Marking: Stamp at upper left corner of backing: Rectangle with "Collection / A S" printed inside.
Alfred Stieglitz (American); Donor: Georgia O'Keeffe (American)
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Rodin Drawings: True and False," November 20, 1971–January 23, 1972.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. "Rodin Drawings: True and False," March 9, 1972–May 14, 1972.

Kunsthalle Bremen. "Rodin, Eros und Kreativität," November 3, 1991–January 12, 1992.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Nudes: Drawings by Sculptors," October 20, 2014–January 25, 2015, no catalogue.

Albert Elsen, J. Kirk T. Varnedoe, Victoria Thorson, Elisabeth Chase Geissbuhler The Drawings of Rodin. Ex. cat. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1971, fig. no. 83, 93, 122, 127, ill.

J. Kirk T. Varnedoe Chronology and Authenticity in the Drawings of Auguste Rodin. PhD diss., 1972 fig. no. 90, 90, ill.

Victoria Thorson The Late Drawings of Auguste Rodin. PhD diss., 1973 fig. no. 117, 170, ill.

Catherine Lampert, Hayward Gallery, David Macey Rodin: sculpture & drawings. London, November 1, 1986–January 25, 1987, cat. no. 238, pp. 239-240, ill.

Anne McCauley Modern Art and America: Alfred Stieglitz and His New York Galleries Auguste Rodin, 1908 and 1910: The Eternal Feminine. 2001, fig. no. 29, 77, 494 (n. 50), ill.