Auguste (René) Rodin (French, 1840–1917)

Object Place: Europe, France


73.66 x 68.58 x 38.1 cm (29 x 27 x 15 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Stone; Marble

On View

Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)





Psyche was the beloved of Cupid, mischievous son of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Rodin alludes to an intimate moment in their complicated tale, when Psyche stole a secret glimpse of her sleeping lover. Rodin’s marbles were carved by professional artisans, but the sculptor supervised their execution and often added the finishing touches. Henry Adams (1838-1918), Boston-born historian and author of the autobiographical memoir The Education of Henry Adams, saw the sculpture in Paris in 1900 and bought it for his niece.


at right back edge of cape: A. Rodin


1900, exhibited at the Exposition Rodin, Pavillion de l'Alma, Paris and purchased by Henry Adams (b. 1838- d. 1918), Boston and Washington, D.C., for his niece, Louisa Chapin Hooper (Mrs. Ward) Thoron (b. 1874- d. 1975), Boston [see note 1]; by inheritance from Mrs. Thoron to anonymous donors; 1975, anonymous gift to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 14, 1976)

[1] See Ruth Butler, "Rodin: The Shape of Genius" (New Haven and London, 1993), p. 402 and "Rodin en 1900: l'exposition de l'Alma" (exh. cat., Paris, Musée de Luxembourg, March 12-July 15, 2001), p. 256, cat. no. 112. From May 17, 1904 until it was made a gift in 1975, this piece was on loan to the MFA from Louisa Chapin Hooper (Thoron).

Credit Line

Anonymous gift in memory of Ward Thoron (1867-1938) and Louisa Chapin Hooper Thoron (1874-1975)