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Prints and Authors in the Time of Manet

Auguste Rodin
French, 1840–1917

Antonin Proust

Drypoint, about 1880–85
Grace J. Hitchcock Collection, 1927.20

Auguste Rodin, known primarily for his massive sculptures, also applied his talents to printmaking. Only drypoint, of all the printmaking techniques, provided the rich contrast of tone and delicate line that enabled Rodin to create the vibrant profiles and shifting surface planes found in his sculpture.
Antonin Proust (1832–1905), a French journalist and politician, was a schoolmate and life-long friend of artist Édouard Manet (Manet’s oil on canvas portrait of Proust is a highlight of the Toledo Museum’s collection and is featured in the exhibition Manet: Portraying Life, at the Museum October 7, 2012–January 1, 2013). Proust became Minister of Fine Arts for a year in 1881 and used his position to champion artists—like Manet and Rodin—who were not always embraced by the official art establishment.