Conceived in 1884, this cast was executed in 1945. This model was cast eight times during Rodin’s lifetime. The Alexis Rudier foundry made five casts for the Musée Rodin between 1927 and 1945 then the Georges Rudier foundry made eight casts after 1952.
The figure of the fauness, or female faun, can be traced back to the mythology of ancient Rome where the creatures were normally depicted as half woman and half goat. Here Rodin’s Fauness appears almost entirely human, and it is only the somewhat otherworldly facial features that subtly allude to her mythical nature.
In ancient mythology, both fauns and faunesses were known for their love of music and wine as well as their lustful nature. Much like the sculptor’s other models depicting Faunesses, here the veiled eroticism of the model and its allusion to female sexuality would not have been lost on his contemporary audience.