H. de Roos - The critique of the toronto exhibition



A last illustration: the medium-sized Eve plaster that is part of the famous Spreckels collection, is inscribed as "modèle pour le bronze" and clearly shows traces of piece mould, declared as such in the Spreckels catalogue [De Caso, p. 143 ff]. The Canadian medium-sized Eve plasters (the MacLaren has two of them) does not only precisely match the Spreckels foundry plaster in measure and shape, but also look much less "used" than their well-known sister. So why should exhibiting them impair the good name of Rodin or even obscure his genius - a genius that deliberately exposes the mother of all men with strangely flat feet? If we respect these crippled feet as "authentic Rodin", what harm can a few scratches or a thin varnish do then to the fame of the sculptor?

I did not visit the Venice exhibition, so that till now, I can judge the criticized works only from their photographs.

Just one example: Comparing the medium-sized "Eve" plaster (ca. 30 inches or 76 cm high) from the Gruppo Mondiale Est to the identically sized "Eve" plaster from the Spreckels Collection that had been the model for one of the original bronze editions, I get the impression the Gruppo Mondiale plaster looks somewhat "cleaner" and "smoother" than the Spreckels plaster, but having only the photographs to rely on, I cannot see a significant loss of detail or damage in the Gruppo Mondiale plaster, as compared to the Spreckels plaster. 

Maybe both plasters are inferior and unsuitable as models for further bronze casting?

[From: Letter to Jacques Vilain, 10 October 2001]


Gruppo Mondiale Est. - Eve, front, plaster, 76 cm

Spreckels - Eve, front, plaster, 76 cm


Gruppo Mondiale Est. - Eve, side, plaster, 76 cm
Photos: Mario Carrieri, for Gruppo Mondiale Est.

Spreckels - Eve, side, plaster, 76 cm
Photos: from the De Caso catalog





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