Bacchantes Embracing (Bacchantes s'enlaçant)
Rodin executed more than half a dozen groups of embracing female lovers in poses of ecstasy and abandon, including Bacchantes Embracing and Damned Women (on view nearby). Although it is not known when this work was titled or by whom, the allusion to mythology placed these passionate figures at a temporal and conceptual remove, thus making the then-taboo subject more acceptable to a conservative audience. Interestingly, one of the women here is not even a bacchante (a follower of the wine god Bacchus), but rather a female faun, identified by her goatlike legs and cloven hooves.
possibly before 1896; cast after 1967
15 × 15 × 11 in. (38.1 × 38.1 × 27.9 cm) (show scale)
Near signature: "CIRE PERDUE AF"
On rock behind figure with proper right knee up: "Rodin"
Rock, side toward which upraised elbow points: "VII/XII"
Gift of Iris and B. Gerald Cantor
This item is not on view
Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917). Bacchantes Embracing (Bacchantes s'enlaçant), possibly before 1896; cast after 1967. Bronze, 15 × 15 × 11 in. (38.1 × 38.1 × 27.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Iris and B. Gerald Cantor, 84.77.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 84.77.2_bw.jpg)
overall, 84.77.2_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Are these figures the same? Were they made using the machine invented by Rodin?
Yes, in the 19th century it was very common for sculptors to produce multiples of their work at different scales. These were never numbered or limited in production!
Rodin did not invent the reduction machine himself, but he and his studio assistants definitely made use of it!
Rodin used the Collas machinem which was similar to an earlier reduction machine made by the Englishman Benjamin Cheverton in 1828 (patented 1844).