This is a study work for the bronze statue of Balzac that stands on the Boulevard Raspail in Paris. When the work was first unveiled, it was jeered with such remarks as "it looks like a figure covered with a potato sack" and the commissioning group, the Société des gens de lettres, refused to accept it. Rodin was greatly disappointed and indignant over this reaction. "Why isn't the large robe good? Isn't it the robe the literary master wears, who moves in his room late at night crazed as he chases away the demons of the mind?." This type of memorial figure differed from all previous portrait figures, wrapped in a formal cape as he stands before his adoring public, and Rodin's portrait of Balzac was never understood during the artist's lifetime. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no. 140)


  • Title: Balzac (Last Study)
  • Date Created: 1897 (model) - 1961 (cast)
  • Location Created: France
  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings: Signed right top of base: A. Rodin; Inscribed right side of base: by musée. Rodin. 1961; Foundry mark back of base: George Rudier. / Fondeur. Paris.
  • Sculptor: Auguste Rodin
  • Provenance: Donated by the Asahi Shimbun
  • Physical Dimensions: w450 x h1060 x d380 mm
  • Object title (Japanese): バルザック(最終習作)
  • Object notes (Japanese): このブロンズ像はいまパリのラスパイユ大通りに立つ像の習作である。これが初めて公開されたとき、「ジャガイモの袋をかぶせた」ようだと嘲笑され、そのあげく注文主のフランス文芸家協会に引き取りを拒絶されたのであった。ロダンの失望と憤りは大きかった。「どうしてあの部屋着がいけないのか?これは深夜、心のうちの幻影を追いかけながら自分の部屋を狂おしく行きつ戻りつする文豪の着ていたものではないというのか?」よそゆきの礼服に身を固めて讃美者の前に現われる、これまでの記念像とはあまりに異なったロダンの着想は、生前ついに理解されなかった。(出典: 国立西洋美術館名作選. 東京, 国立西洋美術館, 2006. cat. no. 140)
  • Artist Name (Japanese): ロダン、オーギュスト
  • Type: Sculptures
  • Rights: Donated by the Asahi Shimbun, http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/information/privacy.html
  • External Link: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
  • Medium: Bronze

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