Art Collections Online

Head of Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

RODIN, Auguste (1840 - 1917)

Head of Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

Media: bronze

Size: 51.4 cm

Acquired: 1934; Gift; Sir William Goscombe John

Accession Number: NMW A 304

Victor Hugo was unwilling to sit and pose for his portrait so Rodin worked from quick sketches. The artist stated, 'I thought I had seen a French Jupiter; when I knew him better he seemed more like Hercules'. The bust conveys the dignified status of this great author and French national hero, who wrote epics such as Les Miserables and Notre-Dame de Paris. Sir William Goscombe John described it as 'about his finest in that genre and celebrated the world over. It is a splendidly honest work'.



nicholas cornhill
15 November 2018, 16:27
back in 2012 we had looked into this but didnt pursue further, we have in our posession a plaster merkat of this exact model which we accuired from a bronze founders estate in the 1980s who had been familiy friends from the 1950s, the bronze founder has a direct link to Sir William Goscombe John and as your model does not have the typical Rodin "Rudier" foundry marks we cant help but feel that our merkat has some linkage the your item gifted by Goscombe john in the 1930s. If you think this is something worth looking into further I have attached my email and would love to send the full information/story on to one of your specialists to see if its worth looking into more
Sara Huws Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales Staff
26 November 2015, 15:13

Hi there John,

Thanks for your enquiry,

I'm afraid we cannot give valuations on objects - we would recommend you ask at your local auction house as they will be best placed to give you a value. If you are interested in learning more about your object, your are welcome to come along to our Art Opinion Service - the next one is on Dec 4th.

Digital Team

John barlow
26 November 2015, 12:42
Hi there I have a bronze bust of victor the face is identical to this one in your museum but mine is on a bronze stand just wondering if the museum could help me with valuation of it please
Sara Huws Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales Staff
21 August 2014, 09:54

Hi there,

Our online shop stocks many items inspired by the collection, as well as a 'print on demand' service. However we don't offer a copy of this particular work for purchase, I'm afraid.


Loraine Campbell
20 August 2014, 19:19
Do you know where I could buy a copy of a victor hugo bust. I am looking to get one as a birthday present for someone special. Many thanks
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