Signed front of base to right: A. Rodin Foundry mark back of base to right: ALEXIS RUDIER.FONDEUR.PARIS.
Auguste Rodin, French, 1840 - 1917. Cast by the founder Alexis Rudier, Paris, 1874 - 1952.
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Rodin intended these delicate, lyrical figures to be part of a Parisian monument honoring French workers. Instead of decorating a standard pedestal, they would crown a tall spiral staircase with bas-relief sculptures depicting scenes of different kinds of labor. They would be, as Rodin described them, "two winged geniuses who descend from heaven, like a beneficent rain, to bless the work of men."
The monument project faltered, but Rodin remained devoted to the plan for the enormous structure, even proposing it as his own burial site. He imagined a basement crypt secured with the doors of his The Gates of Hell.
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