This first version of L'Eternel Printemps (The Eternal Spring) is carved in the mid 1880s. With the excuse of the reference to Dante in the Gates of Hell and the desire for a total art inspired by Beethoven, Rodin injects in this nude couple an intense erotic surge. The kneeling woman is embraced by the powerful young man. Mouths are joined in a kiss. The title positions the mad love outside the time of our civilizations while evoking the season of sap rising.
Rodin has marbles carved in single blocks by his workshop in response to customer orders. The first marble of The Eternal Spring is started in 1896. The group is now built against a rock which ensures the robustness of the outstretched arm.
The fifth marble of The Eternal Spring is commissioned in 1901 by a friend of Rainer Maria Rilke and completed in 1903, the year when the poet wrote an essay on Rodin. This sculpture 66 cm high and 80 cm long is weighing 154 Kg. It is estimated $ 8M for sale by Sotheby's in New York on May 9, lot 17.
SOLD for $ 20.4M including premium
I invite you to watch the video shared by the auction house: