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Monumental Bust of Victor Hugo

European Art

In 1889 the French government commissioned Rodin to produce a monument to the author Victor Hugo (1802–1885). The sculptor’s first proposal was rejected in 1890, but another was accepted a year later. Rodin worked on the project sporadically during the following decade, but diminishing interest on the part of both the sculptor and the government agencies overseeing the work meant it remained unfinished at his death in 1917. The ultimate monument was intended to be colossal, and this bust seems consistent with that scale.
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES 1902; cast 1970
    DIMENSIONS 28 1/2 x 23 3/8 x 21 1/2 in. (72.4 x 59.4 x 54.6 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Back, proper right shoulder: ".Georges Rudier./.Fondeur. Paris." Back, lower edge, proper left shoulder: "© by Musée Rodin. 1970."
    SIGNATURE Lower edge, proper left: "A. Rodin" Interior, back, lower edge, raised stamp: "A. Rodin"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Auguste Rodin (French, 1840–1917). Monumental Bust of Victor Hugo, 1902; cast 1970. Bronze, 28 1/2 x 23 3/8 x 21 1/2 in. (72.4 x 59.4 x 54.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, 84.210.3. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 84.210.3_transp6249.jpg)
    EDITION Edition: 6/12
    IMAGE overall, 84.210.3_transp6249.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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