H. de Roos - Towards a catalog of the Maclaren collection
"The Majority Of These Works .... Date From The Artist's Lifetime."
Still, the central statement of this message needed further explanation, so that our correspondence continued:
Now the history of these plasters starts getting filled with some life and gets related to persons and places and practices, so that we can talk more concretely.
The Large Hand of God: this was clearly indicated in the exhibition. (The Gruppo Mondiale) told me October 2, 2001, it would have been made after the marble at the Metropolitan, gift of Edward D. Adams, 1908, Cat. Nr 08.210 (Rodin at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Clare Vincent, Item 32, p. 30]. But Mary (Reid) would not confirm this to me November 5, 2001.
What about the Hand of Rodin? Do we agree the composition was not made by Rodin himself? Arseneau attacks you for calling the plaster "authentic", although Rodin had been fighting the accusation of surmoulage since the Age of Bronze.(...)
You write: "(...) others
clearly came from his studio or from his founders just after 1900. These
include all the large and major forms, for which there is further evidence
revealed in their recent conservation and in the casting histories."
This letter was answered by David Schaff with further details, referring to the history of single plasters still more precisely:
In example after example they conform within strict tolerances to fully provenanced compositions in the same material or in bronze. You have already done the work of Eve with square base. The same may be done by comparing the large Eve to the lifetime bronzes, which are rare, just as you may compare the Age of Bronze to the version at the National Gallery - a bit crisper better cast perhaps - und so weiter.
Connoisseurship is one thing, but it is more powerful with scientific evidence behind it. This situation is why I found Mary Reid's summary of the conservator's findings that the degradation and bleeding out of core materials prove many of these works are between 100 and 80 years old so exciting. This is an important finding which verifies the age of the plasters beyond comparison and politics.
A number of these items are rare: research into the casting history of Torso Morhardt for example reveals that it was cast only ca. 1900 and perhaps ca. 1942. The smallest Age of Bronze and the Torso of Age of Bronze were issued only during Rodin's lifetime. A piece by piece examination validates the dating for three quaters of the works.
William may have misspoken about dating, but Madame
Romain states an untruth. Inscription and signature by Rodin takes three
forms - writings in pencil and ink, incised inscriptions, and foundry
signatures and cachets. Please look at Tancock and de Caso for numerous
examples on signatues and inscripitons, both written and incised. Rodin
was extremely diligent about his copyrights.
That all for now.(..)
[From: Letter from Dr David Schaff to the author, 3 Dec. 2001]
Museum logos appear only as buttons linking to Museum Websites and do not