H. de Roos - The critique of the toronto exhibition
THE AUTHENTICITY OF A MOULAGE: THE HAND OF RODIN (4)
Comparing all catalogue entries and versions in chronological order, we can see how this composition, in 1919 not exhibited nor mentioned by Bénédite at all, in 1927 appears as a small unlisted illustration, then is included in the Philadelphia, Washington and Metropolitan Museum catalogs as an unsigned plaster, and finally is selected in 1971 for posthumous casting by the Musée Rodin and upgraded by a Rodin signature.
The confusion is crowned by the present entry in the French official Jocondo inventory database, backdating the year of acquisition of one of the three Musée Rodin plaster versions, created "appr. 1917", to 1916:
[From: Joconde Database]
Considering the fact that the Philadelphia Rodin Museum, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Metropolitan and the Brooklyn Museum do not hesitate to exhibit this object along with their Rodin works, and the Musée Rodin was even prepared to issue a new bronze edition of the piece, who is to blame The MacLaren and the R.O.M. for including such an item in its Rodin exhibition as well?
And when the Musée Rodin issues its bronze with Rodin´s signature attached, although no Curator really seems to believe the Master created or authorized this composition, what significance can be attributed then to all the other Rodin signatures appearing on posthumous casts?
Finally, does the fact the MacLaren plaster bears such a
signature as well – other than the other known plaster versions -, not
confirm Arseneau´s thesis most MacLaren plasters have their origin
in posthumous production of foundry plasters by the Musée
I will come back to this question in Chapter 6.
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