French sculptor Auguste Rodin's newly re-discovered marble masterpiece titled "Andromeda" fetched nearly 3.7 million euros at a Paris auction, tripling its estimated price of 1.2 million euros plus premium. Carved in Carrara marble “Andromeda” was created in 1886-1887 and depicts the daughter of Ethiopian King Cepheus, a figure in Greek mythology, nude and asleep on a rock.
The sculpture was sold by the Artcurial auction house just as Paris is marking the centenary of Rodin’s death, with an exhibit of more than 200 of his works at the Grand Palais in the French capital until the end of July.
Purchased by an unnamed European collector, it was one of four pieces created between around 1885 and 1900 by Rodin on the subject that are held in galleries and private collections around the world.
Rodin, renowned the world over for works like his bronze "The Thinker" and "The Kiss" made from marble, gave “Andromeda” to Carlos Morla Vicuna, a Chilean diplomat in Paris in 1888, as a gift.
"The family who received it as a present from Rodin in 1888, from generation to generation, conserved it until 2017," Bruno Jaubert, Artcurial’s director of the impressionist and modern art department told Reuters proudly adding that he and a colleague found it earlier this year during an inventory in Spain.
However, the substantial sale price is far eclipsed by the record set in May 2016, when Rodin's “Eternal springtime” marble sculpture of lovers sold for $20.41 million at Sotheby’s in New York.
Artcurial is a multidisciplinary auction house founded in Paris in 2002. With a handful of international offices and sales taking place around the globe, Artcurial offers collectors everything from jewelry and timepieces to blue-chip modern and contemporary works of art. The House totals 210.1 million euros in sales volumes in 2016, doubling its turnover in 5 years.