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Rodin Museum

Head of a Laughing Boy

Modeled 1891-1892; cast 1925
Camille Claudel, French, 1864 - 1943. Cast by the founder Alexis Rudier, Paris, 1874 - 1952

Several versions of this composition were found in Auguste Rodin’s studio after his death in 1917 and were assumed to be made by him. This work is now thought to have been sculpted by Camille Claudel, who assisted Rodin in modeling figures for the monumental bronze doors known as The Gates of Hell. The laughing head might have been intended for the upper portion of the doors where a series of expressive faces surround The Thinker. It was probably considered too cheerful and later was removed from The Gates.



When Jules Mastbaum purchased this bronze cast from the Musée Rodin in 1925, it was thought to be by Rodin, and his signature was stamped into the cast. The recent discovery of a plaster version signed ‘Claudel’ suggests that she may have modeled this work while employed in Rodin’s studio, yet she retained a version for herself.

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Object Details

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Rodin Museum