Edward Steichen (American, born Luxembourg, 1879–1973)
Upon moving to Paris to pursue an artistic career, Steichen befriended Auguste Rodin. Created from two negatives, this print shows the sculptor with two of his works. Steichen combined an image of the silhouetted Rodin in front of his Monument to Victor Hugo with another, separate exposure of Le Penseur (The Thinker). This print depicts Monument to Victor Hugo in reverse, but it seems Steichen preferred this composition despite the fact that it was not true to Rodin’s sculpture.
The many graphite inscriptions on the mount verso are nearly invisible under regular light. Infrared photography reveals notations relating to the work’s exhibition history (“Dresden”) and framing decisions.
Alfred Stieglitz twice reproduced this photograph in Camera Work, once in 1905 and again in 1906, in a “Steichen Supplement” featuring 16 photogravures of Steichen’s works.
Additional resources related to this object are to the right. Comprehensive material analysis can be found in the Object Research PDF.