Conceived in 1912, this example cast in 1959. A single edition of thirteen casts were made for the Musée Rodin by the Georges Rudier foundry between 1958 and 1959.
Vaslav Nijinsky (1889–1950), propelled ballet into the age of modernity with his performances in Le Pavillon d’Armide, Le Spectre de la Rose, and Petrouchka. Celebrated for his virtuosity and for the intensity of his characterizations, he was the subject of many contemporary artists such as Modigliani, Max Jacob, Marc Chagall and of course Rodin.
In 1912, at the Ballets Russes in Paris, Nijinsky choreographed and danced in Debussy’s L’Apres-midi d’un Faune at the Theatre du Chatelet. Sadly, the performance received negative press and it was said that the ‘bewildered public did not applaud’. Gaston Calmette, owner and editor of Le Figaro published a negative article in his newspaper describing the performance as ‘erotic bestiality and shameless gestures... the pantomime from the body of a misshapen beast, hideous of face and even more hideous of profile...’ which was ‘...justifiably booed’. Rodin, outraged at this article, attended the show the following night and rushed on stage to congratulate Nijinsky for his performance. In response to Calmette’s article, Rodin signed an article written by Roger Marx published in Le Matin in support of the dancer. The very same day, Nijinsky travelled to Meudon to thank Rodin for his support.