Rodin's 'Broken Nose' bronze sells for $340,500 at Bonhams auction


2015-06-26 13:09:33


Rodin's 'Broken Nose' bronze sells for $340,500 at Bonhams auction

Rodin's Mask of the Man with the Broken Nose is one of his finest bronze models

Auguste Rodin's Masque de l'homme au nez casse, or Mask of the Man with the Broken Nose, has performed well as part of Bonhams' Impressionist and Modern Art auction.

Auguste Rodin Broken NoseRodin worked as Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuses assistant from 1864-1870, where he met Bibi, the caretaker

The brilliantly realised bronze, a major work in his oeuvre, sold for217,250 ($340,367) on February 5 in London. According to Bonhams, it is among the finest examples of his work prior to his move to Belgium in 1870, however the artist himself considered it to be the finest model he ever created.

Quoted in 1889, Rodin stated that the work was "the first good piece of modelling I ever did...In fact I have never succeeded in making a figure as good as the Broken Nose".

The sitter for the work was a local character known as Bibi, who was the caretaker at Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse's studio in Paris, where Rodin worked as an assistant. Rodin created more than 12 different examples of the model, with thebronze at auction a cast ofone of the earlier versions.

First conceived in 1881 and cast between 1902 and 1908 by the Alexis Rudier Foundry, this bronze was formerly part of the collection of noted art director Vincent Korda (1897-1979), who was nominated for four Academy Awards for his work on films such as The Longest Day (1962), The Jungle Book (1942) and The Thief of Baghdad (1940). It had been passed down through his family until the sale.

Rodin's work brought the second-highest bids of the auction, topped only by Maurice Denis' Le martyre de Saint-Sebastien, whichbrought $265,250.

In December 2012, a cast of Rodin's world-famous The Thinker sold for $2.3m at a Swedish auction. For more of the latest news on art collecting, sign up to our free weekly newsletter.

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