AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917)
Femme accroupie et Martyre,
65 x 40 x 35.5 cm (26 x 16 x 14 in)
Markings: Inscribed A. Rodin, © by Musée Rodin, numbered, dated and stamped with foundry mark
Other casts: São Paulo, State Picture Gallery
This assemblage is composed of two of Rodin's most famous figures: La Martyre, standing upright in this version, and the Femme accroupie with its primitive sensuality. Both figures were originally modelled for La Porte de l’Enfer, where they each appear twice: once they appear together on the tympanum to the right of Le Penseur. Both were favorite figures of Rodin, reused many times.
La Femme accroupie was strongly influenced by Michelangelo; it was displayed on several occasions at the Georges Petit gallery and reappears in several assemblages, including the famous Je suis Belle, which is also in La Porte de l’Enfer. Its spiral composition highlights the contours of the back of his model, Adèle Abbruzzesi. With a slight variation in the position of the leg, it is assembled to La Martyre, a contrasting, angular figure in a state of extreme tension. Curved lines and broken lines echo each other in this exceptionally dynamic assemblage balanced in an extremely precarious position, whose boldness is matched only by its modernist style.