Vénus Astarté (Semitic goddess of fertility and love)

Vénus Astarté (Semitic goddess of fertility and love)

c. 1900

Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Plaster

Overall: 14.2 x 9.5 x 1.6 cm (5 9/16 x 3 3/4 x 5/8 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2000.22

Location

Description

This relief of a female nude standing in water may represent the only time the great French sculptor Auguste Rodin provided an ornament for a precious object: a gold and enamel hand mirror (see photo) designed by Felix Braquemond (1833-1914). The mirror-acquired by the museum in 1978-was made for Baron Joseph Vitta, one of Rodin's most important patrons during the years around 1900, and it was probably for this reason that the artist agreed to the commission. This plaster cast of Rodin's nude was an intermediate version of the subject. Although the images on the mirror and the plaster cast were clearly derived from the same mold, there are significant differences in the figure's hair. Rodin probably changed the wax version (from which the gold relief of the mirror was made by lost-wax casting) before he used it.

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