Gary Arseneau - Deception: Are These Really Rodins?
For future reference, the Musee Rodin went officially into business in 1919. Therefore everything Musee Rodin authorizes is "posthumous" or in otherwords after Auguste Rodin’s November 17, 1917 death.
NOT FROM THE ORIGINAL PLASTERS
Now contrast Jean Chatelain’s published 1981 statement: "the same plaster model will be used" with the two independently documented 2001 statements by the Musee Rodin’s curator Antoinette Romain:
1) On their current 2001 "www.musee-rodin.fr" website, she writes:
"Consequently, whenever it is decided to release a new "subject", a copy is first made from the old mould which can be sent without risk to the foundry where it undergoes the necessary preparations for casting. It is coated with an unmoulding agent, usually in a dark colour, and cut, before being cast again. This practice not only ensures absolute fidelity to the original but also preserves the old plasters which are obviously more valuable since they were made during the lifetime of Rodin."
2) The Musee Rodin curator Antoinette Romain confirmed, in a February 2, 2000 fax to this writer, the Musee Rodin practice of making plaster copies of Rodin’s "original plasters" for reproducing in bronze. Translated from "French" to "English" by me using "AltaVista Translations & The Oxford French Dictionary" the Musee Rodin curator states:
"We take a new proof in the moulds which we possess to avoid sending the original plasters to the foundry. These moulds are the moulds of Rodin, and thus ensure us a perfect fidelity. In this way the original plasters remain intact."
French Original from 2 February 2000:
En réponse à votre fax du 26 janvier, je vous précise que lorsque l’édition d’un nouveau sujet est décidée, nous tirons une nouvelle épreuve dans les moules de Rodin, et nous assurent donc d’une fidélité parfaite. De cette façon les plâtres oriogineaux demeurent intacts.
En espérant avoir répondu à votre question, je vous prie, Monsieur, de croire à ma pensée meilleure.
In other words, by avoiding sending the hypothetical original plasters to the foundry, they have willingly given up the authentic original surface details made by the working fingers of Rodin himself or that Rodin approved through his collaboration with his "sculpteur reproducteur habituel" Henri Lebosse. Each time the surface of one of these subjects is approximated by the necessary crude handling of the materials used in the reproduction processes, there is visible change. The resulting pieces may be interesting to look at, but it is an absurdity to pretend they are just the way Rodin would have wanted and intended for them to appear.
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