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I am Beautiful

Auguste Rodinc. 1885 (model)

The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo

The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan

A muscular male leans back as he lifts a woman in embrace. This pair is seen in the top section of the right pillar of The Gates of Hell. These two figures were also cast separately as The Fallen Man and The Crouching Woman. The Fallen Man is in the top section of the left door of The Gates of Hell, and a solo figure sculpture enlarged of The Crouching Woman can be found in the Museum's collection. The manner in which Rodin reconsidered individual figures from a new vantage point and then grouped two completely unrelated sculptures in a new sculptural beauty can be seen in his group sculptures. Here, in order to make the two sculptures into one Rodin changed the pose into that of a supportive figure by grounding the Fallen Man's right foot as it stretches back to jump in order to bear the weight of the woman, and changed the right hand of The Crouching Woman that grasps her left ankle into a natural forward position. This pair was originally called L'Enlèvement. The current title "I am Beautiful" is taken from the first line of a Beaudelaire poem "Beauté", from Les Fleurs du Mal, which was carved on the sculpture's step dais before 1887. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no. 134)

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  • Title: I am Beautiful
  • Date Created: c. 1885 (model)
  • Location Created: France
  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings: Signed front of base: Rodin; Inscribed front of base ('La beauté' from Les Fleurs du Mal of Charles Baudelaire): "Je suis belle, o mortels, comme un rêve de pierre / Et mon sein, ou chacun sest mourtri tour a tour, / Est fait pour inspirer au poete un amour / Eternel et muet ainsi que la matiere."; Foundry mark right side of base: ALEXIS. RUDIER. / FONDEUR. PARIS.
  • Sculptor: Auguste Rodin
  • Provenance: Kojiro Matsukata; Sequestered by the French Government, 1944; Returned to Japan, 1959.
  • Physical Dimensions: w320 x h700 x d330 mm
  • Object title (Japanese): 私は美しい
  • Object notes (Japanese): 筋骨たくましい男がのけぞるような姿勢で女を抱き上げている。《地獄の門》右柱最上部に見られる群像である。この男女はそれぞれ《墜ちる男》、《うずくまる女》と題される単独像としても制作されている。そのうち《墜ちる男》は《地獄の門》左扉最上部に組み込まれ、また《うずくまる女》は独立した作品として当館にも所蔵されている。単独像を新たな視点から見直し、本来無関係であった彫像を組み合わせて全く新しい造形的な美を発見する方法は、ロダンの群像作品にしばしば見られる。この作品では、二つの像を一体化するために、《墜ちる男》の後ろに跳ね上げていた右足を地につけて女の体重を支えるポーズに変え、《うずくまる女》の左足首をつかんでいた右手は自然のままに前に垂らす形に変更されている。この群像は最初「誘拐」と呼ばれ、また「肉慾の愛」とも呼ばれた。現在の題名は、1887年以前のある段階で台座に刻み込まれたボードレールの『悪の華』の「私は美しい……」で始まる詩句によっている。(出典: 国立西洋美術館名作選. 東京, 国立西洋美術館, 2006. cat. no. 134)
  • Artist Name (Japanese): ロダン、オーギュスト
  • Type: Sculptures
  • Rights: Matsukata Collection, http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/information/privacy.html
  • External Link: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
  • Medium: Bronze

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