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Rodin Museum

Colossal Head of Balzac

Modeled 1898; cast 1925
Artist/maker: Auguste Rodin, French, 1840 - 1917. Cast by the founder Alexis Rudier, Paris, 1874 - 1952

This work represents one of Rodin’s last studies for Balzac’s head. The deep hollow of the eyes is accentuated by a bulbous, beaklike nose. (Balzac reputedly told another sculptor, "Be careful of my nose; my nose is a world.") In Rodin’s hands, the head became not so much a physical portrait of the great writer as a rendering of the location from which his art and genius arose.


Object Details

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Rodin Museum