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The Age of Bronze, medium-sized model, first reduction (L'Age d'airain, première réduction)

European Art

This male nude is one of Auguste Rodin’s most celebrated and enigmatic subjects. First called The Vanquished, it was interpreted as emblematic of France’s heroism and suffering in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71. When Rodin decided to remove the lance the model posed with, he also eliminated any explicit narrative symbols in favor of simply highlighting the sensuality and emotional potential of the human body. He retitled it The Age of Bronze, suggesting that the figure, with its now mysterious gestures, evoked a moment of awakening into a new consciousness. At the 1877 Salon, the naturalism of the life-size plaster led to accusations that Rodin had made a cast directly from the “commonplace” body of his model.

The half-life-size version seen here was probably first produced in 1903–4 in response to popular demand for a smaller-format edition. 
MEDIUM Bronze
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES 1876 (reduction probably 1903-04); cast 1967
    DIMENSIONS 41 1/4 x 15 x 13 in., 65 lb. (104.8 x 38.1 x 33 cm, 29.48kg) mount (including clips): 41 1/2 × 13 × 12 in. (105.4 × 33 × 30.5 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Back of base:".Georges Rudier./.Fondeur. Paris." Base, bottom edge: "© by Musée Rodin 1967"
    SIGNATURE Base, proper left: "A. Rodin"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    ACCESSION NUMBER 68.49
    CREDIT LINE Gift of B. Gerald Cantor
    PROVENANCE By November 1967, acquired by B. Gerald Cantor of Beverly Hills, CA; June 12, 1968, gift of B. Gerald Cantor to the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917). The Age of Bronze, medium-sized model, first reduction (L'Age d'airain, première réduction), 1876 (reduction probably 1903-04); cast 1967. Bronze, 41 1/4 x 15 x 13 in., 65 lb. (104.8 x 38.1 x 33 cm, 29.48kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of B. Gerald Cantor, 68.49. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 68.49_SL1.jpg)
    EDITION Edition: 10/12
    IMAGE overall, 68.49_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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