Signed lower right side of base: A. Rodin Foundry mark back of center of base ALEXIS RUDIER / FONDEUR PARIS.
Auguste Rodin, French, 1840 - 1917. Cast by the foundry Alexis Rudier, Paris, 1874 - 1952.
In 1879, after the Franco-Prussian War reestablished the French Republic, the young Rodin entered a competition for a public monument honoring the new government. His entry was this fierce-looking bust of Bellona, the Roman goddess of war.
The association of France with war—in this work and in The Call to Arms, another monument submission currently on view at the museum—proved unpopular at a time of pacifism in France. Rodin lost both contests.
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