Madame X (Countess Anna-Elizabeth de Noailles),

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

Sitter: Countess Anna-Elizabeth de Noailles

Date: ca. 1907

Culture: French

Medium: Marble

Dimensions: Overall (confirmed, largest dimensions): 19 1/2 × 21 3/8 × 19 in., 167 lb. (49.5 × 54.3 × 48.3 cm, 75.8 kg)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Gift of Thomas F. Ryan, 1910

Accession Number: 11.173.6


Eyes half-open, Countess Anna-Elizabeth de Noailles, a Parisian poet, appears suspended in a state of tranquil reverie. The glowing, milky surface of her carved likeness, typical of Rodin’s late marbles, obscures the details of her coiffure and facial features. Displeased with these veiled forms—as well as the prominence given to her nose—the countess rejected the portrait. Three years later, the bust was purchased by the trustees of The Met from the sculptor’s studio with the title Madame X (Lady Unknown).