Eternal Springtime (L’Eternel Printemps)
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 (a plaster dating from 1882 in the Musée Rodin, Paris).
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
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Descharnes and Chaubrun 1967
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Jianou and Goldscheider 1967
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J.L. Tancock – The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1976, p. 241-47.
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Spring, 1981.
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