At the time of his death, Auguste Rodin (France, 1840-1917) was counted among the most renowned artists in the world. A century later, after numerous reassessments by generations of art historians, Rodin continues to be recognized for making figurative sculpture modern by redefining the expressive capacity of the human form. This installation spans three galleries and features nearly 100 Rodin sculptures essential to telling his story and representing his groundbreaking engagement with the body. Drawn from the extensive holdings of the Cantor Arts Center, the largest collection of sculptures by Rodin in an American museum, it also presents comparative works by his rivals, mentors, admirers, and imitators.
Check out the Cantor for publications about August Rodin and his works, available for purchase in the Cantor’s Atrium.
The Musée Rodin in Paris, France, is a museum that was opened in 1919, primarily dedicated to the works of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. It has two sites: the Hôtel Biron and surrounding grounds in central Paris, as well as just outside Paris at Rodin’s old home, the Villa des Brillants at Meudon, Hauts-de-Seine.
The V&A holds 23 sculptures by French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Between the 1870s and the 1890s he came to challenge traditional notions of beauty and appropriateness – and paved the way for modern sculpture.
This film, presented by V&A curator Alicia Robinson, shows in detail 6 works by Rodin – exploring his earlier work inspired by classical sculpture, Michelangelo and Donatello, and his development into spectacular explorations of patina, light and emotion.
In 1914 Rodin gave his work to the V&A as a symbol of the friendship between the people of France and Great Britain.
The enduring appeal of Rodin, the modernity of his work, has to do with the way in which he makes visible an aesthetic of process – how, in other words, he takes traditional sculpture apart and puts it back together again in new and daring ways. Strategies of multiplication, scalability, fragmentation and recombinatory modes of assembly and display constitute some of the hallmarks of Rodin’s artistic practice.
Works by Rodin on view at the Cantor are often utilized by students and scholars from a range of disciplines, including medicine. In this moment, with outbreak of disease across the globe, what can Rodin’s works teach us about the relationship between art and nature?
It’s interesting that Rodin attracts so much attention from medical experts, especially here at Stanford, who have used his hands for diagnostic purposes. It’s true that Rodin was intensely interested in exploring pathologies of the body, especially now-discredited understandings of female hysteria. But there is also the irony that Rodin became furious after a critic accused him of making his first life-size figure through life casting, rather than modeling it himself. It should go without saying, but Rodin’s hands are not hands – not real ones, anyway – and their expressive forms don’t align neatly with the anatomical reality of hands in flesh and blood or even their more naturalistic counterparts. But the very fact that they elicit such responses demonstrates the power of art to provoke challenging questions that drive innovative paths of research that cut across disciplines, particularly in a university setting.
Rodin travelled to Italy in 1875, a trip described by the late art historian Kirk Varnedoe as, ‘one of the seminal events in modern art’.
Here, in his mid-thirties, he fell under the spell of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo. His monumental, exaggerated nude figures would have a deep and lasting influence on the artist. ‘My liberation from academicism was via Michelangelo,’ Rodin later recalled. ‘He is the bridge by which I passed from one circle to another.’
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) is renowned for breathing life into clay, creating naturalistic, often vigorously modelled sculptures which convey intense human emotions: love, ecstasy, agony or grief. Breaking the rules of academic convention and classical idealism, Rodin ushered in a new form of highly expressive sculpture that went on to influence generations of artists that followed.
How is a drapery put in place? For what reasons does this motive persist until today? How to explain its power of fascination? These are the questions that this exhibition intends to pose, in order to enter the “factory” of the drapery and to get closer to the artistic gesture. By showing the stages of making a drapery, the visitor will discover the singular practices of artists from the Renaissance to the second half of the 20th century.
November 30, 2019 – March 8, 2020, Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon
Albrecht Dürer, Drapery Study, 1508, Brush and Indian Ink, heightened white on dark green paper
The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon retains an exceptional drawing by Albrecht Dürer studying a piece of drapery. This meticulous study reveals how the flexibility of a fabric lends itself to an infinity of folds, underlined by shadows and lights.