This photograph of French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) was one of 33 photogravures included in Alvin Langdon Coburn’s book Men of Mark, published in 1913. In addition to Rodin, Coburn’s book featured portraits of such well-known artists, writers, and statesmen as Henri Matisse, Henry James, and Theodore Roosevelt. Photographed from a slightly lower vantage point and positioned tight within the edges of the frame, Rodin’s imposing visage and billowing beard dominates the composition. The photogravure’s soft focus and grainy texture indicate Coburn’s interest in Pictorialist devices, which aimed to replicate the appearance of the painted surface in photography.
The exhibition Artists on Artists continues through July 29.
Alvin Langdon Coburn (American, 1882-1966)
Auguste Rodin, Meudon, pl. IX from Men of Mark, 1906-13
Charles F. Olney Fund, 1977.67