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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Rodin is a name which is synonymous with sculpture. His body of work is a legacy for the world. It has contributed some of the most recognisable sculptures of modern times. Some would say that every piece on which he worked was a classic in its own right. Everyone who values sculptural art might have their favourite Rodin piece. For many, that piece could be the one named Suzon.

This is a woman's bust, resplendent in feminine, romantic beauty. Rodin worked on the piece in or around 1872. At first, Rodin created the piece in plaster. He later it reworked it in Sèvres porcelain and finally in white marble. Rodin sold the rights of the piece to the Compagnie des Bronzes in Brussels. This happened owing to financial troubles. What this has meant, is that Suzon was then recast in bronze. There are copies of it, in different sizes and editions, throughout the world. Both private collections and museums house these copies.

The biggest influence on his particular work was the 18th century romantic movement. This romantic movement had influenced visual art and literature. At the time Rodin created this work, he was living in Brussels. He was living in exile from home owing to the Franco-Prussian war. There was another sculptor exiled in Brussels at that time, Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse. He was a profound influence on Rodin. Rodin, in fact, created this work Suzon as a tribute to him. Rodin was a sculptor who had trained the traditional way.

He respected the works of the past. A talented craftsman, what he craved more than anything was recognition. Some recognised his talent and others did not. Suzon is not the most instantly recognisable of Rodin’s works, but it is one of the most beautiful. Rodin continues to live through his body of work. His name is often on the lips of those who appreciate the art of creating sculpted. Suzon shows the artist's appreciation for beauty and romanticism.