RODIN Auguste

The means is the modelled: it is through the modelled that the flesh lives, vibrates, fights, suffers...
Auguste Rodin



I give to the State all my work in plaster, marble, bronze, stone, and my drawings as well as the collection of antiques that I was happy to collect for the learning and education of artists and workers. And I ask the State to keep all these collections in the Hotel Biron, which will be the Rodin Museum, reserving the right to live there for the rest of my life.
Auguste Rodin - Correspondance de Rodin, tome III, 1908-1912, letter n° 103 to Paul Escudier, end 1909

Modeler le vivant

Modeler le Vivant - Hugues Herpin, Head of Strategic and Event Affairs at the Musée Rodin

" The Galerie Capazza in partnership with the Musée Rodin is pleased to present the exhibition Modeler le vivant  which, through a selection of artworks by Jeanclos and Rodin, allows us to confront two very distinct plastic signatures that are often joined together in intent.

Modelling as the materialisation of the original idea in clay is obviously the main link between these two aesthetics. It is necessary to recall in this respect that the two artists have shared their lifetimes an immense love for the material.

Whereas Jeanclos was accustomed to proceed most often by delicate additions of clay sheets, Rodin liked to work "in the mass" generally also by adding matter. But from the intimacy of the gesture to the universal character of their art, they both share the same urgency to express the tragic dimension of human destiny.

In both cases, it is frequent to discern in the work the respective traces of the work and the reactions of the material that can be seen in the clay and that we find in the bronze with the tonal values that are peculiar to these two materials. And then, it is necessary to underline the appetite which animates the two men when they implement, each one with his own vocabulary, the principle of declination which enables a subject to resonate without limit with itself. It is finally in plaster that Rodin will find his answer because it allows multiple, assembling, establishing variants and declining forms by successive casting. Jeanclos, who also approached this material during his formative years, preferred to continue weaving his sleepy reveries in clay.

Rodin grew up above all with the combined lesson of the ancient and Michelangelo and it is towards these two poles that he will always tend towards. In the end, it is the architecture of the human body that will always remain at the centre of his aesthetics, as the artist likes to play with its axes, tensions and lines of force as vectors of expression, because "all life emerges from a centre, then [...] germinates and blossoms from within to without". Gsell further clarified this to Paul Gsell in 1907:

"Once I was wrong. I believed that dramatic movements were indispensable for expressing life. I liked gestures that spread out the muscles. That was a mistake. Reality is even more moving than it is peaceful."

Then, instinctively and in search of a form of synthesis in his work, he goes towards the purity.

The distance from the subject allows him to privilege the reading of the volume in space. For both artists, it is always on purpose that the bodies disappear under drapes, earthen bark or plaster milks. The process makes it possible to circumscribe the subject and, at the same time, to reinforce its volume. For Jeanclos, for example, this is reflected in the famous series of the Dormeurs or the Kamakura, and it is this same idea that Rodin will try to express when he removes the warrior attribute from his Age of Airain, for a better perception of the profiles, or when he wraps his Balzac in a dressing gown (a subject that is moreover diffused by Steichen's pictorialist photographs), or when he drowns the line of his drawings in watercolour. The fragment will also remain a privileged means of shedding light on the "useful" volume.

Of course, in Jeanclos' case, the body remains more withdrawn, masked or even absent. Its movement is often only latent; it is true that the artist has received the full force of visions of the horror of the holocaust in which the human body is synonymous only with suffering. The rehabilitation will be long and it is often the unspeakable pain of his life experience that is symbolized in the atonal character of his figures, often undifferentiated, at once neutralized and protected by their envelope. Time also seems to have stopped and this apparent "achrony" sets the figures a little more in immanence. But still, their delightful ecstatic grace moves them away from pathos to privilege the simple impression of beauty.

Rodin, who has always aimed at the expression of life in his modeling, seeks to inscribe it in a temporality that far from limiting movement to the moment represented, gives it a broader framework:

"It is the artist who is truthful and it is the photograph that is a liar; because in reality time does not stop", he confided.

The present exhibition allows two spirits who have never ceased to search for a form of truth in art to converse with the sincerity imposed on the creator by the fact that he models the living.

The merit of this exhibition is mainly due to the Galerie Capazza, which has organized this encounter."

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Biography

1840 Birth on November 12th in Paris of René François Auguste Rodin. 

1854  Convinced his father to enroll him in the Imperial Special School of Drawing and Mathematics.
There, he follows the drawing and painting classes of Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran.

1855  Discover sculpture, and spend a lot of time drawing at the Musée du Louvre,  at the the Prints and Drawings Department of the Imperial Library and at the Manufacture des Gobelins.

1857 He fails three times at the entrance exam of the Beaux-Arts School of Paris

1860 Creates his first sculpture: a bust of his father inspired by portraits of romans rulers during the Antiquity

1864 Beginning of his collaboration with the sculptor Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, whom he will follow in Belgium.
Meets Rose Beuret.
« L’homme au nez cassé » is refused at the fair

1866 Birth of his son Auguste Beuret

1870 Goes with the Belgian sculptor Antoine-Joseph Van Rasbourgh in Brussels.
Back in Paris, he is mobolized than reformed because of myopia 

1871 Joined Carrier-Belleuse in Belgium, where il will partner with Van Rasbourgh.
Rose joins him in Brussels. 

1874 Participate in the decor of the Academy Palace in Brussels, paints a série of landscapes of the Soignes’ forest. 

1875 Study trip in Italy and discovery of artists from the Renaissance.
Is particularly inspired by the work of Michelangelo.
Undertaked the Âge d’airain.

1877 Exhibits the Âge d’airain in Brussels, then in Paris, where he is accused of casting its face by nature.
Rodin and Rose return to France.
He works at the Manufacture de Sèvres until December 1882.

1880 The French government bought the Âge d’airain and ordered a door for the futur Museum of Decorative Arts: La Porte de l’Enfer

1882 Executed the figures of Adam, Eve and the Thinker. 

1883  Meets Camille Claudel.
Creates the bust of Victor Hugo.

1885 The municipality of Calais commissions  him to create the monument for the Burghers of Calais.

1886 Created Le Baiser 

1888 The government orders Le Baiser in marble. 

1889 Exhibits with Claude Monet at the gallery Georges Petit.
Expose avec Claude Monet à la galerie Georges Petit.
Commission of the Monument à Victor Hugo for the Pantheon. 

1891 The Society of People of Letters orders a monumentfor Balzac. 

1894 Is invited to Monet’s home in Giverny where he meets Cézanne.

1895 Buys the Villa des Brillants in Meudon and begins to build up his collection of antiques and paintings.
Inauguration of the Monument aux Bourgeois de Calais in Calais. 

1898 Separation with Camille Claudel. 

1899 First monographic exhibition in Brussels and then in the Netherlands.

1900 Exhibition in a pavillon on the Place of Alma in Paris on the fringe of the Universal Exhibition 

1902 Exhibition of Rodin’s artworks in Prague. 

1904 First exhibition of the Thinker (plaster/large model) at the International Society of London, than at the Parisian Salon (bronze)

1905 Rainer Maria Rilke, met in 1902, becomes in secretary. 

1906 The Thinker is placed in front of the Pantheon. 

1908 Settles at Biron Hotel on Rainer Maria Rilke’s advices.

1909 Inauguration of the Monument à Victor Hugo at the Palais Royal. 

1911 The French government orders a bust of Puvis de Chavannes for the Pantheon.
L’Homme qui marche is installed at the Farnese Palace in Rome.

1914 Flees the war and leaves with Rose for England.
He then stays in Rome.

1916 Sells his collections to the government in three different donations.
The National Assembly votes to establish the Rodin Museum at the Biron Hotel. 

1917 After marrying Rose in January 29 in Meudon, she dies on February 14.
Rodin dies on November 17th. 

1919 The Rodin Museum opens its doors to the public on August 4.

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