Gary Arseneau - Deception: Are These Really Rodins?


LEONCE BENEDITE 

First, the last few years before Auguste Rodinís death, his control and oversite of his plasters was subverted by those entrusted by the State of France to protect it. A prime example of this subversion is the first Musee Rodin director Leonce Benedite. 

In Albert Elsenís 1985 Gates of Hell by Auguste Rodin book, on page 148, he states: 

"As events after Rodinís death were to prove, Benedite did overstep his authority on certain occasions. In the matter of the final assembly of the doorway, Judith Cladel, who was dismissed by Benedite as a curator at the Musee Rodin, wrote during the years 1933-36 that workmen told her in 1917 that Benedite edited their efforts on at least one occasion in a way they felt Rodin would not have approved: "Some of Rodinís scandalized assistants who cast his plasters made it known to me that, charged with the reassembly of The Gates of Hell, they received orders to place certain figures in different arrangement than that which the artist wanted, because "that would be better." 

One of those "occasions" that Albert Elsen refers to is in his Footnote 17 on page 253 of his book. It states: 

"In 1921, during the course of a trial on charges brought by the State against a founder who was casting Rodinís work without authorization, it was shown that Benedite had authorized the enlargement of Rodinís La Defense after the artistís death." 

 

 

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