Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)
'George Wyndham' (1863-1913)
Bronze on marble base
Height 42 cm (without base)
Inscribed 'A. Rodin' on the sitter's left shoulder and by the founder 'Alexis Rudier/Fondeur. Paris' on the back of the right shoulder
Museum no. A.47-1914
Given by the artist
George Wyndham, Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1900 to 1905, was a soldier and writer as well as a politician. Rodin was introduced to him by the poet William E. Henley, friend of the sculptor John Tweed, one of his most stalwart supporters in England.
In 1902 George Wyndham presided over the banquet at the Café Royal in London to celebrate the presentation of the cast of St John the Baptist to V&A. Later, in 1912, Rodin appealed to Wyndham to support the way he wished The Burghers of Calais to be displayed in London.
For this bust, Rodin was to go to Ireland, but in the end it was Wyndham who went to Meudon. He was delighted by the portrait and greatly enjoyed the sittings, writing to his sister, 'We have run over the whole Universe lightly but deeply'.