Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)
'Miss Eve Fairfax' (1871-1978)
Height 44.5 cm
Inscribed 'Rodin' on the back of the right shoulder and by the founder 'Montagutelli Fres/Paris/Cire Perdue' on the centre back
Museum no. A.44-1914
Given by the artist
From 1900 onwards Rodin frequently received commissions for portrait busts of statesmen and fashionable women. This portrait was commissioned by Ernest Beckett, Lord Grimthorpe, who had been introduced to Rodin by the British sculptor John Tweed. Eve Fairfax was briefly engaged to Beckett and she sat for Rodin several times during the period 1901-9.
Their meetings and correspondence brought Rodin to a closer, more personal knowledge of his sitter. He admired her cool Englishness and what lay beneath her calm exterior, describing her as 'A Diana and a satyr in one'. Of Englishwomen, he said, 'How flat chested they are. Oh, those planes and the bony structure.'
This bronze appears to have been cast from a clay or plaster study. The marble version given to Eve Fairfax by Rodin is now in the Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa.