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ID number:  BIRBI-42.4
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Rodin, Auguste (1840-1917)
Title / Object name:  The Age of Bronze
Object type:  Sculpture
Place made:  Model: Brussels; Cast: Paris
Culture:  French
Date made:  Model: 1877; Cast: probably before 1917
Materials:  Bronze
Measurements:  180.5 x 68.5 x 54.5cm
Provenance:  Purchased at Christie's, 27 March 1942, lot 130, for £273

The Age of Bronze was Rodin’s breakthrough sculpture when exhibited in 1877, after years of jobbing work. It was initially claimed to have been cast from life, which caused something of a scandal, but once this was refuted, the French State acquired a bronze cast and Rodin’s fortunes turned. Ultimately he became the most famous sculptor of his age and indeed lauded as the greatest since Michelangelo. Numerous casts of this model were made, both during Rodin’s lifetime and after, in various sizes. The plaster was exhibited in Brussels in 1877, as 'Le Vaincu'; then under its present title at the Paris Salon (no. 4107). It is now in the Musée Rodin, Paris. A bronze cast was shown at the Salon of 1880 (no. 6640). There are numerous other bronze casts of various sizes and periods but the present one is likely to have been made before Rodin's death. An autograph drawing of the composition, of c. 1880, is in the Louvre.

Inscriptions / Translations:  Signed: Rodin. Marked on base: ALEXIS,RUDIUER/FONDEUR.PARIS.

Notes:  Model: Brussels, Belguim. Cast: Alexis Rudier foundry, Paris, before 1917
Base measurements: 9.2 x 51.5 x 51.5 cm

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