Balzac in a Monk's Habit (Balzac en robe de moine)
In 1891, a Parisian literary society commissioned Rodin to make a monument to Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), one of the most controversial and influential authors in nineteenth-century France.
From 1891 until 1895, Rodin’s idea was to make a physical and spiritual likeness of Balzac. In 1896, however, Rodin decided to make a more symbolic monument, associating intellectual and artistic creativity with sexual activity, for which Balzac was equally well known. Thus, Rodin sculpted a Balzac who grasps his erect phallus beneath his robe, an act reflected in the overall phallic silhouette of the final monument.
Rodin completed the nine-foot-tall plaster model in 1898. Critics described it as a snowman, a side of beef, and a mistake. The society refused to accept it, and it was not cast in bronze until after Rodin’s death.
ca. 1893; cast 1971
41 7/8 x 19 3/4 x 15 1/2in. (106.4 x 50.2 x 39.4cm)
133 lb. (60.33kg) (show scale)
Back, bottom edge of base: ".Georges Rudier./.Fondeur. Paris."
Base, bottom edge, proper left: "© by Musée Rodin 1971"
Hem of robe, proper left: "A. Rodin No 1"
This item is not on view
Gift of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917). Balzac in a Monk's Habit (Balzac en robe de moine), ca. 1893; cast 1971. Bronze, 41 7/8 x 19 3/4 x 15 1/2in. (106.4 x 50.2 x 39.4cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, 84.75.22. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 84.75.22_SL1.jpg)
overall, 84.75.22_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.