Balzac, étude type c (buste) 3ème version, grand modèle
Signed A. Rodin
Inscribed Alexis Rudier Fondeur Paris
Conceived in 1892.
This example cast between 1918 and 1927.
The Comité Rodin states that at least 10 casts of this sculpture in this size were produced after Rodin's death.
There are no lifetime casts.
‘Such, too, is the "Balzac" to whom Rodin has given a greatness which, perhaps, over towers the figure of the writer. Rodin has seized upon the essence of Balzac's being, has not confined himself to the limitations of his personality, but has gone beyond into his most extreme and distant possibilities.’ – (Rainer Maria Rilke, 1919, p.87)
The Monument to Balzac by Auguste Rodin was the most controversial sculpture of the 19th century. After the death of Honoré de Balzac in 1850, numerous attempts were made to raise funding for a public monument in the poet’s honour. It was only in 1883 when the Société des Gens de Lettres received a gift from the State and a designated site from the City of Paris that the commission of a sculpture could proceed. Henri Chapu was selected to complete the monument, but unfortunately died in 1891 before the work was finished. The sculptors on the advisory committee, Jean-Alexandre Falguière, Antonin Mercié and Paul Dubois all voted that the work should be executed by a practicien, from Chapu’s model, but were overruled by Émile Zola, the President of the Société at the time. Émile Zola encouraged Auguste Rodin to apply for the commission and after submitting a proposal in July of 1891, in a heavily disgruntled and disputed atmosphere, the project was awarded to Rodin.