A major work by French sculptor August Rodin could sell for more than $270,000 at Bonhams later this month.
Described as "one of Rodin’s most adventurous compositions", La Jeunesse triomphante was originally conceived in 1894, as part of his career-defining project La Porte d’Enfer (The Gates of Hell).
Rodin was commissioned to create a grant entrance to the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris – a museum which was planned but never actually built. However, despite the project being cancelled, Rodin continued to create sculptures based on his original idea for the rest of his life.
Many of his best-known works, including The Thinker and The Kiss, were initially intended as individual figures within La Porte d’Enfer, before becoming important sculptures in their own right.
La Jeunesse triomphante combines two of these individual figures together to create a new, highly symbolic work – featuring the adolescent woman from La Fatigue and the old woman from Celle qui fut la belle Heaulmière.
The bronze sculpture offered at Bonhams was cast between 1906 and 1918, and will cross the block with an estimated value of $172,700-$273,400.
The auction follows hot on the heels of two further Rodin works which have realized top prices at Bonhams: L’Eternal Printemps, which sold in London in February for £938,500, and Eve, which sold in New York in May for $1,060,000.
"La Jeunesse triomphante is one of Rodin’s most expressive and psychologically challenging works," said Bonhams Director of Impressionist and Modern Art, India Phillips.
"The high prices Bonhams achieved recently for two other outstanding works by the master demonstrates that Rodin’s appeal to collectors continues to be very strong. I expect La Jeunesse triomphante to be keenly contested."
The Bonhams Impressionist and Modern Art sale takes place in London on June 23.