Most characteristic of Auguste Rodin’s early works, this Bust of The Lorraine can be related to a series of works of similar style from the 1870s. Its title refers to the loss of the Lorraine region after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871, echoing the Alsatian Orphan Bust, of which the Nicolas Bourriaud gallery has a terracotta model Alsatian Orphan, head held high version (Height: 11″ (28 cm) Length: 8,2″ (21cm) Depth; 7,5″ (19,3cm). Very different in its conception, it is distinguished by an outstanding ornamental and decorative treatment highlighting the attributes of the Cross of Lorraine, the flowers and bodice knots or the more or less detailed lace of the bonnet. For this, during the stamping process, Rodin called on the services of an ornamental assistant who had studied this technique alongside his master Albert-Ernest Carrier Belleuse (1851-1932).
Several versions of the Bust of The Lorraine (plaster and terracotta) have been inventoried, each with more or less elaborate adornments (in particular, with a smooth headband and without a cross, or with a less ornate bonnet, with no flowers in the bow). Our terracotta is thus quite similar -apart from a few minor differences- to the model held by the Musée d’Ixelles (Inventory number CC1972), which was a gift from Auguste Rodin to his friend, the engraver Gustave Biot (1833-1905) during his stay in Belgium. Our bust was probably created around the same time, between 1872 and 1877.
A marble version of The Lorraine, also known as L’Accordée de village, Mrs Angot’s daughter, Charlotte Corday and Young girl with a cross, is currently kept in the Musée du Berry in Bourges (Legacy of Mrs Georges Hecq).