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Accroupie

Henry J. Simonds, Pittsburgh, PA
March 17, 2010
Ed. of 5 — 30”x 22½” x 1”
Piezo print on archival polymer paper on aluminum
Signed, titled, dated, and numbered on back of mount


Like The Thinker and many other well-known Rodin sculptures, La Femme Accroupie (The Crouching Woman) (c. 1880-82) is based on a figure from the tympanum of The Gates of Hell.  There, she represents one of the lost souls on the Day of Judgement.  As evidence of Rodin’s fascination with recurring forms and his tendency towards the self-reflexive, the figure reappears in the bas-relief on the extreme right of the portal in the pairing I Am Beautiful.  In this singular iteration, the caryatid-like pose demonstrates Rodin’s passion for the human body and all its dynamism.  The erotic and frank composition reveals a deep intimacy between the sculptor and his model, Adèle Abruzzezzi - a favorite subject of his at the time. Although this eroticism often caused controversy and the nature of his relationships with his muses was called into question, Rodin insisted that he was incapable of creativity without the inspiration and presence of a living model, claiming, “In everything, I follow nature and I never pretend I am able to control her. My only ambition is to be subservient and faithful to her.”
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