H. de Roos - The critique of the toronto exhibition


…. et dont certains sont des agrandissements postérieurs à la mort de l'artiste, et donc non voulus par Rodin. 

[From the Musée Rodin press release]


This point I could clarify in my correspondence with Jacques Vilain quite quickly. It turned out this critique related only to one posthumous enlargement of a Nijinski plaster figure, that is not part of the MacLaren donation:

En ce qui concerne les agrandissements postérieurs a la mort de Rodin, nos declarations ont été faites avant l'ouverture de l'exposition de Toronto. Il y avait exposé à Venise un agrandissement du Nijinsky qui n'apparait pas dans l'exposition du R.O.M.

[From : Letter from Jacques Vilain to the author, 12 October 2001]

So this issue remains to be cleared only between the Musée Rodin and Gruppo Mondiale Est, which still is the owner of this plaster. In my interview with the Gruppo Mondiale Est. spokesman of 2 October 2001, a Nijinski plaster was said to have been offered as a donation to the Stanford Collection through San Francisco donor Peter Frazier, and had been rejected in the end by Stanford Curator Bernard Barryte. It would be interesting to hear if this was the enlargement criticized by the Musée Rodin. 

On another level, the Gruppo Mondiale spokesman claimed the Cantor Foundation would have produced posthumous enlargements as well, especially mentioning the giant version of The Head of Pierre de Wissant and The Caryatid Carrying Her Stone – a work originally of 43 cm height and now executed as large as 5 feet high, according to the Gruppo Mondiale.

At the Toronto Symposium, the artistic quality of the Cantor giant Head of Pierre de Wissant cast was questioned by Dr David Schaff  as well. But the claim by the Gruppo, the Cantor Foundation would have initiated this enlargement only in the 1970´s, obviously shows a lack of knowledge. Already during Rodin´s lifetime, an over 80 cm high monumental version was created and exhibited at the 1909 Berlin exhibition [De Caso, 213, Vincent 110]. Bronze casts of this heroic version are in the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Kunstmuseum Basel and the Musée des Béaux-Art, Ghent, so that a visual comparison with the Cantor version can be made.




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