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    Auguste Rodin - L’Éternel Printemps

    Auguste Rodin – L’Éternel Printemps  UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR $20.4 MILLION, A NEW RECORD

    A rare marble of one of Rodin’s most celebrated forms comes up at Sotheby’s evening sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in New York on May 9.  L’Éternel Printemps ranks among his most skillful renderings of embracing lovers. Conceived in 1884 and carved in 1901-02 from a single block of marble it is estimated at  $8-12 million. This sculpture is believed to be the fifth of ten known uniquely finished carvings of the subject in marble, and this is the first time it has come to auction. It was singled out in Frederick Lawton’s 1906 biography on the artist as the most magnificent of the series.  A Rodin marble of this subject has not appeared on the market in over two decades. 

    This marble was commissioned by the German diplomat Hellmuth Baron Lucius von Stoedten (1869-1934). Baron von Stoedten, who lived between Berlin and Paris, was a close friend of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who played a seminal role between artist and patron in the commission of this marble. Rilke was famously inspired by Rodin’s sculptures and wrote a series of poems in their tribute. The friendship between these three great minds of the late nineteenth century tells an intriguing story behind this carving of L’Éternel Printemps Other marbles from this series belong in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest (1901); the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg (1906); The Museum of Decorative Arts, Buenos Aires (1907); the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1906-07) and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen (1907-1910).

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