Alma Mahler, wife of the Viennese composer Gustav Mahler (1860–1911), provided this account of Rodin’s working methods in her recollection of her husband’s sitting for this portrait in 1909:
His method was unlike that of any other sculptor I have had the opportunity of watching. He first made flat surfaces in the rough lump, and then added little pellets of clay which he rolled between his fingers while he talked. He worked by adding to the lump instead of subtracting from it. As soon as we left he smoothed it all down and next day added more. I scarcely ever saw him with a tool in his hand.
1909; cast between 1910-1914
13 3/8 x 11 x 9 3/4 in. (34.0 x 27.9 x 24.8 cm) (show scale)
Back, on neck: ALEXIS RUDIER/FONDEUR.PARIS/2eme Epreuve
Proper left shoulder and on interior plate: "A. Rodin"
This item is not on view
Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund
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Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917). Gustav Mahler, 1909; cast between 1910-1914. Bronze, 13 3/8 x 11 x 9 3/4 in. (34.0 x 27.9 x 24.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.10. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 22.10_transp6243.jpg)
overall, 22.10_transp6243.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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