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'.


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