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L'homme au nez cassé: M.3-1959

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


L'homme au nez cassé
Translated as: L'homme au nez cassé
(Man with a broken nose)


Sculptor: Rodin, Auguste




Bronze, cast, with brown patina, and touches of green. The man faces front and is turned slightly to the right. Long hair at neck, flat and thin on the crown, short beard and moustache. Definite broken nose. Forehead and cheeks lined. Treatment after the antique. No signature, nor that of caster.

Legal notes

Bequeathed by G.J.F. Knowles

Measurements and weight

Height: 31.1 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Paris ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1959) by Knowles, Guy John Fenton


19th Century
20th Century
Circa 1881 CE - 1916 CE


A marble bust was exhibited at the Salon in 1878. Four bronze casts were made in 1895 by Griffoul, and twelve between 1916 and 1949 by Alexis Rudier, Paris. This is a Type 1 mask.

This sitter was a man called Bebé, a cleaner and model at the Carrier-Belleuse studio (where Rodin worked in the 1860s) and whose broken nose was believed to be the legacy of a boxing career. Rodin told of how the newly modelled mask froze inn a harsh winter, causing the back of the head to split off. Intended as his debut work, Rodin portrayed Bebé with classically modelled hair and blank eyes in the manner of ancient Greek sculpture, but the mask was rejected by the Paris Salon in 1864, on account of its expressive realism and rejection of traditional notions of ideal beauty. Despite this, Rodin was very proud of his creation, claiming, “That Mask determined all my future work. It is the first piece of modelling I ever did.”

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Sculpture UK

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Casting (process) : Bronze, cast and patinated

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.3-1959
Primary reference Number: 13638
External ID: CAM_CCF_M_3_1959
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 18 December 2023 Last processed: Tuesday 13 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "L'homme au nez cassé" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-15 00:23:16

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{{cite web|url= |title=L'homme au nez cassé |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-15 00:23:16|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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