François Auguste René Rodin’s turn-of-the-19th-century story recalls the archetypal struggle of the modern artist. He was born in Paris, in obscurity. Despite showing early promise, he was rejected by the official art academies because his work stripped away many of the narrative references to classical myth that were still attached to academic sculpture in the late-19th century. Rodin’s sculptures displayed the brute materiality of sculpture express the fleeting mobility of the modern individual. To achieve this, he abandoned the polished and idealized figures of academic sculpture and produced rougher, more unfinished surfaces, which better expressed restlessness, corporeality, and movement. While this often suggests psychological agitation, it also evokes the constant motion characteristic of life in modern times.
He spent years laboring as an ornamental sculptor before success and scandal set him on the road to international fame. By the time of his death, he was likened to Michelangelo. His reputation as the father of modern sculpture remains unchanged, and in recent years the wider exhibition of his many drawings has also elevated his reputation as a draughtsman. However, his many intimate—some have suggested exploitative—drawings of his models have altered the nature of the traditional respect paid to this eminent artist. (The Art Story)
100 Years of Bauhaus, Counterfeit Rodin’s & More
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