Monday, May 13, 2019

19th Century Photographic Studies for Artists

Today I am featuring some photos that were used by artists to either replace or supplement live models.  We start with Gaudenzio Marconi's picture of Auguste Neyt, the model for Rodin's The Age of Bronze.  Rodin encountered the 22 year old Neyt in the Brussels railway station where he worked in the telegraph office and convinced him to model nude for him.  (They became lifelong friends.) After the statue was exhibited, Marconi was hired to photograph Neyt and the statue to dispel accusations that Rodin had made a plaster cast of Neyt's body instead of sculpting it.


  1. Always good to see Auguste Neyt. A life model hero of mine. I wonder what Rodin said to him to persuade him to model? I wonder what is behind him? Another piece of model support equipment? This pose is quite easy to hold. I did it for 30 mins last Wednesday apart from the left hand position. I had this at my side. I'm wondering if there was a simple loop of thin rope on the metal pole to allow the hand to stay in that position....Fascinating, something I need to study.

    1. I have seen photos of studio equipment with adjustable neck and back braces, so there might be one of those behind Neyt to steady him or simply to let him know how to align himself. The piece at his side might have a post extended for his hand to grasp. Long exposures were sometimes required for these photos, so anything to keep the subject still was helpful. We'll never know what Rodin said to convince Neyt to model, but he couldn't have used his reputation because he didn't really have one yet. He did after he sculpted Neyt, though!

    2. A fascinating world..I wish I could have been part of it..

  2. cool ton blog. Je le découvre. Je reviendrai ;))