• Paris, c. 1898
  • Bronze
  • Inv. 28

Eternal Spring (‘L’Eternel Printemps’)

Auguste Rodin

Cast: Alexis Rudier

Many of Rodin’s sculptures were related to one of his most important commissions: a monumental portal to be installed at the planned Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy. This commission, received in 1880, was to occupy Rodin for many years, leading to many different experiments. Many of the individual groups we know today were originally designed to form part of these doors.

Eternal Springtime was one of those works, probably the first of Rodin’s attempts to represent two intertwined lovers, based on the story of Paolo and Francesca. Rodin’s aim was to convey an image of love experienced in all its intensity and completeness. The genesis of this work occurred at a turning point in Rodin’s view of love, coinciding with his relationship with Camille Claudel, which revealed to him the possibility of physical passion coexisting with a meeting of minds.

Rodin’s customary use of a live model to compose his figures enabled him to bring greater vitality to bodies and to portray more natural poses. He also worked with juxtaposition, reusing previously created figures in the composition of this group. The female figure is clearly derived from Torso of Adèle (Musée Rodin, Paris, 1882).

Chéramy Collection. Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian, through Graat, at the sale of the Chéramy Collection, May 1913 (lot 620).

H. 64 cm; W. 69 cm; D. 38.5 cm

Grappe 1938

Georges Grappe, Catalogue du Musée Rodin. Paris. 1938, p. 42–3, no. 100.

Descharnes and Chaubrun 1967

Robert Descharnes and Jean-François Chabrun, Auguste Rodin. Lausanne: Edita Paris, Bibliothèque des Arts, 1967.

Jianou and Goldscheider 1967

Ionel Jianou and Cécile Goldscheider, Rodin. Paris: Arted, 1967, p. 98.

Tancock 1976

J. L. Tancock, The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1976, pp. 241–7.

Elsen 1980

Albert Edward Elsen, In Rodin’s Studio. A Photographic Record of Sculpture in the Making. London: Phaidon, 1980, p. 171, no. 48.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 1981

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Spring, 1981.

Fonsmark 1988

Anne Birgitte Fonsmark, Rodin. La Collection du Brasseur Carl Jacobsen à la Glyptothèque – et œuvres apparentées. Copenhagen: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 1988, p. 100–2.

London 1988

Impressionist and Modern Painting and Sculpture. London: Christie's, 2 March 1988, no. 3, p. 15.

Figueiredo 1992

Maria Rosa Figueiredo, French Sculpture. Catalogue of European Sculpture, vol. I. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 1992, pp. 206–13.

Updated on 09 june 2022

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