The National Museum of Western Art

update 29 November 2019

on display Permanent collection

Auguste Rodin [Paris, 1840 - Meudon, 1917]

I am Beautiful

Datec. 1885 (model)
Materials/Techniquesbronze
Size (cm)70 x 32 x 33
InscriptionsSigned front of base: Rodin; Inscribed front of base ('La beauté' from Les Fleurs du Mal of Charles Baudelaire): "Je suis belle, o Mortels, Comme un rêve de pierre / Et mon sein, où Chacun s est meurtri tour a tour, / Est fait pour inspirer au poete un Amour / Etincelant muet ainsi que la matiere. [sic]"; Foundry mark right side of base: ALEXIS. RUDIER. / FONDEUR. PARIS.
Credit LineMatsukata Collection
Standard ref.M1276
CategorySculptures
Collection NumberS.1959-0028
I am Beautiful
Photo by (c) Norihiro Ueno

A muscular male leans back as he lifts a woman in embrace. This pair is seen in the top section of the right pillar of The Gates of Hell. These two figures were also cast separately as The Fallen Man and The Crouching Woman. The Fallen Man is in the top section of the left door of The Gates of Hell, and a solo figure sculpture enlarged of The Crouching Woman can be found in the Museum's collection. The manner in which Rodin reconsidered individual figures from a new vantage point and then grouped two completely unrelated sculptures in a new sculptural beauty can be seen in his group sculptures. Here, in order to make the two sculptures into one Rodin changed the pose into that of a supportive figure by grounding the Fallen Man's right foot as it stretches back to jump in order to bear the weight of the woman, and changed the right hand of The Crouching Woman that grasps her left ankle into a natural forward position. This pair was originally called L'Enlèvement. The current title "I am Beautiful" is taken from the first line of a Beaudelaire poem "Beauté", from Les Fleurs du Mal, which was carved on the sculpture's step dais before 1887. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no. 134)

Provenance

Kojiro Matsukata; Sequestered by the French Government, 1944; Returned to Japan, 1959.

Exhibition History

1960
The Masterpieces of the Ex-Matsukata Collection, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 14 May 1960 - 10 July 1960, S-28
1962
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Hakutsuru Museum, Kobe, 20 October 1962 - 5 November 1962, S-028
1962
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Art Gallery of Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya, 17 November 1962 - 9 December 1962, cat. no. 65 (当館記録による)
1963
The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Shimane Prefectural Museum, Matsue, 5 October 1963 - 20 October 1963, S-028
1963
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Ishibashi Museum of Art, Kurume, 26 October 1963 - 10 November 1963, S-028
1964
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Nakajima Sports Center of Hokkaido Prefecture, 22 August 1964 - 13 September 1964, cat. no. 66
1966
Rodin, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 23 July 1966 - 11 September 1966, cat. no. 21
1973
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Cultural Center of Kochi Prefecture, Kochi, 28 October 1973 - 25 November 1973, cat. no. 73
1974
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Cultural Center of Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka, 13 October 1974 - 10 November 1974, cat. no. 71
1974
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Saga Prefectural Museum, Saga, 16 November 1974 - 1 December 1974, cat. no. 71
1975
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Yamagata Museum, Yamagata, 1 November 1975 - 30 November 1975, cat. no. 71
1977
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Nara Prefectural Museum, Nara, 15 October 1977 - 13 November 1977, cat. no. 58
1978
[Tour Exhibition] Masterpieces from the National Museum of Western Art, The Art Center of Oita Prefecture, Oita, 20 December 1978 - 31 January 1979, cat. no. 65
1988
[Tour Exhibition] Rodin, The Kurayoshi Museum, 13 May 1988 - 12 June 1988, cat. no. 15
1989
Rodin et la Porte de l’Enfer (Rodin and the Gates of Hell), National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 21 October 1989 - 17 December 1989, cat. no. 16
1996
Rodin: Selected Works from National Museum of Western Art, Yorozu Tetsugoro Memorial Museum, Towacho, 10 October 1996 - 17 November 1996, cat. no. 18
2012
Traces of Hands: Sculpture and Drawings by Rodin and Bourdelle from the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 3 November 2012 - 27 January 2013, cat. no. 40
2014
Voices Calling from the Unusual: Hirano Keiichiro's Selection of Western Art Masterpieces, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 8 April 2014 - 15 June 2014, cat. no. 27
2019
The Matsukata Collection: A One-Hundred-Year Odyssey: Upon the 60th Anniversary of the NMWA, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 11 June 2019 - 23 September 2019, cat. no. 82, col. repr.

Bibliography

1990
The Old Matsukata Collection. Kobe City Museum, ed. Kobe, "Matsukata Korekushon Ten" Jikkoiinkai, 1990, cat. no. S-42.
2006
Masterpieces of The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art; Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2006 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 134, repr.
2009
Masterpieces of The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art; Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2009, no. 134, repr.
2013
Masterpieces: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2013 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 133, col. repr.
2019
The Matsukata Collection: Complete Catalogue of the European Art. Kawaguchi, Masako; Jingaoka, Megumi, eds. vol. 2: Sculpture, Drawings, Prints and Decorative Arts and Other Works, Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2019, cat. no. 1276, col. repr.

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