Rodin Works: Eternal Idol, The Host, Creation

Eternal Idol, marble, Musée Rodin The group 'Eternal Idol' was first seen in Rodin's studio around 1891. An early illustration is found in Léon Maillard's article 'Auguste Rodin statuaire' of 1889.

The sculpture shows a kneeling man leaning his chest against a woman depicted in an elevated position. Judith Cladel quotes an anecdote provided by Jules Desbois, who related how Rodin once lovingly kissed one of his models on her bare belly - 'Eternal Idol' seems to reflect this affectionate gesture.

The same mixture of worship and intimacy can be found in 'Pygmalion and Galatea', which also portrays the male figure in a lower position looking up to his beloved. There is also a striking ressemblance to 'Sakountala'* created by Camille Claudel as early as 1887/88 ; probably, Rodin was inspired by this work of his younger colleague and lover. At the same time, the motif of both works seems to reflect an important aspect of the passionate relationship between the sculptor and his talented pupil. Contemporaries like the Swiss poet and critic Matthias Morhardt, who knew both quite intimately, on more than one occasion reported that the famous artist, who was 24 years older than Camille, sometimes encountered her with helpless admiration.

The work is also known under the title 'The Host' (La Hostie) which associates the veneration of Christ's body with the erotic adoration of the female appearance and connects this group with a similar work, 'The Man and his Thought' (1896), for which the same name was used. Antoinette Le Norman-Romain mentions a third title, 'Creation', and claims the pair represents no other than Adam and Eve.

Plaster versions exist in the Musée Rodin, the Maryhill Museum and in the Spreckels Collection San Francisco; these plasters were drawn from a marble version in the collection Thyssen-Bornemisza.

*also named 'Surrender' or 'Vertumnus and Pomona'



Advanced Search and Search Rules

Advanced Search & Search Rules

Terms of Use  Copyright Policy    Menu missing?  Back one page  Reload this page   Top of this page 

Notice: Museum logos appear only as buttons linking to Museum Websites and do not imply any
formal approval of RODIN-WEB pages by these institutions. For details see Copyright Policy.
© Copyright 1992 - Juni 2004 for data collection & design by Hans de Roos - All Rights Reserved.
Last update of this page: 14.06.2004