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Auguste Rodin

French, 1840–1917

Man with Serpent

1885

When this sculpture is viewed from the front, the outcome of the struggle is uncertain. Only from the side can we see the serpent delivering a fatal bite to the man’s neck. The man’s pose was adapted, at the request of a collector, from that of a falling figure in a monumental sculpture on which Rodin worked for 37 years but never finished—the Gates of Hell. Plaster casts like this one were an important part of the process of transforming a clay model into a finished bronze.

Medium Plaster
Dimensions 27 1/2 × 22 × 11 7/8 in. (69.9 × 55.9 × 30.2 cm)
Object Number 1955.1023
Acquisition Acquired by Sterling Clark, 1923
Status On View

Image Caption

Auguste Rodin, Man with Serpent, 1885, Plaster. Acquired by Sterling Clark, 1923. The Clark Art Institute, 1955.1023.

Provenance

Antony Roux (1833–1913), Marseille, Monte-Carlo, Paris (1887–1914, his sale, Paris, May 19–20, 1914, no. 146, sold to M. Knoedler, agent for Robert Sterling Clark, who purchased for his brother, Stephen Clark); Stephen Carleton Clark (1882–1960), New York and Cooperstown, New York (1914–23, consigned to Knoedler’s); Robert Sterling Clark (1877–1956), New York (1923–55, given to museum); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, 1955.

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