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The J. Paul Getty Museum

Sphinx Gm-31363101

Sphinx Gm-31363101

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Auguste Rodin (French, 1840–1917) In ancient mythology, the sphinx embodies an amalgam of human, lion, and hawk body parts. The subject of this watercolor by Auguste Rodin, titled Sphinx, doesn't literally represent such a beast. Instead, the artist drew a young woman, who is standing frontally, with her arms folded.

Rodin made this drawing late in his life, during a period of prodigious output. As is common in those drawings, sketchy pentimento lines appear to suggest a figure in motion. Here, though, the scribbly pencil marks may indicate that the model was partially clothed, because of the artist's inscription, "noir draperie" (black drapery).

Rodin usually sketched his models without taking his eyes off the figure or looking down at the sheet of paper. In this case, the artist first incised the figure's silhouette--notably the hips and elbows--before using the pencil or the brush. Although the figure appears hastily sketched, the drawing as a whole reflects Rodin's considerable abilities as a draftsman. Details, such as the model's perfectly turned right ankle and knee, belie his considerable skills of observation. Carefully applied watercolor washes reveal Rodin's mastery of technique.

Like many nineteenth-century artists, Rodin was interested in exotic subjects. Subtle clues, such as sand beneath the woman's feet and a palm tree on the horizon imply that, like the Great Sphinx of Giza, this woman is set in a time-forgotten, romanticized place. Rodin's title implies on a metaphorical level that she--or "woman" more generally--is like the sphinx, an enigmatic creature.

Our Cards are all printed on 100% cotton tree-free archival paper. All Cards include a recycled kraft envelope in a protective sleeve individually hand wrapped for you. Each card is printed one at a time and hand bound here in Lugano, Switzerland. We ship all over the world via SwissPost. Please allow 5-9 business days for us to make them and 5-7 business days for transit. Art Prints are printed on heavy matte finish German art paper using the finest Canon archival inks. Frame is black natural with a white mattboard and Acrylite glazing.

Wall Murals are printed on 42" matte finish, self-adhesive Kodak PhotoText fabric panels that combine and mount easily on a non textured wall surface. We can custom make to any size, just ask.

Stretched Canvas is stretched by hand over 1.5" thick pine bars and printed on cotton poly matte finish canvas. Each canvas is hand coated with Hahnemuhle UV/Archive coating, these are Swiss quality best in industry canvases.


All our images are digitized from the original negative, printed and assembled in Switzerland to museum standards by our master printer.

All of our products are popular and custom made by hand to order, please allow 2-4 weeks to make them and 1-2 weeks for shipment anywhere in the world.

Questions? Please email service@archivea.com

Artwork in this collection is from The J. Paul Getty Museum. Reproduction rights are reserved by the copyright owner and used under license by Archivea GmbH.

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