Rodin’s Eve at the Gates of Hell

On 19 November 2020, by Philippe Dufour

This extraordinary masterpiece by Rodin was hotly disputed in Lyon, its power tempered by the presence of two paintings with softer female models.

Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), Ève (Eve), small model with square base and flat feet, bronze with shaded brown patina, sand casting produced by Alexis Rudier between 1905 and 1917, signed "A. Rodin" on the inside of the base, h. 75.3 cm (29.5 in).
Result: €837,500

Over 900 people followed this auction of first-rate pieces online, which totaled nearly €1.5M. Auguste Rodin’s Eve, one of the two large figures the great late 19th-century sculptor planned to flank the Gates of Hell with Adam, accounted for a large share of that figure: €837,500. This was one of his reduced-scale models sand-cast by Alexis Rudier, with a square base and “flat feet”. Bronze with a shaded brown patina, it dates from between 1905 and 1917. The session’s other revelation was a Leonardesque work of the Lombard school from the first half of the 16th century, Portrait of a Young Woman with a Braided Colored Headdress at the Back of Her Brown Hair, which fetched €73,544. This oil on panel could easily be compared to the similarly-sized Portrait of a Lady as Saint Lucy (c. 1509) by Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio (1467-1516), which is in Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection.

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