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Mr Auguste Rodin

Who was Auguste Rodin?

Auguste Rodin, born François-Auguste-René Rodin on November 12, 1840,to a working-class family in Paris, France, is renowned as one of the most influential sculptors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His artistic vision and revolutionary approach to sculpture challenged traditional academic conventions, making him a pivotal figure in the transition from 19th-century realism to modernism.

Rodin's artistic talent was evident from a young age, and despite facing initial rejections from art schools due to his unorthodox style, he persisted and eventually gained acceptance into the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1854. However, Rodin's experiences at the school were not wholly satisfying, and he departed to explore various artistic influences, including the works of Michelangelo and contemporary sculptors.

Life and Work:

His career took flight in the 1870s when he started receiving public commissions. Rodin's breakthrough piece, "The Age of Bronze" (1877), marked a turning point in his career, showcasing his mastery in capturing human anatomy and emotion. However, controversy arose as critics accused him of casting the sculpture directly from a living model due to its lifelike quality—a testament to Rodin's incredible skill in rendering the human form.

One of his most celebrated works, "The Thinker" (1880), originally conceived as part of a larger composition, "The Gates of Hell," has become an iconic symbol of contemplation and human intellect. Rodin's ability to convey intense emotion and depth in his sculptures, often exploring themes of love, passion, and human suffering, earned him admiration and cemented his reputation as a visionary artist.

Rodin's approach to sculpting was groundbreaking; he departed from the conventional methods of meticulous detail, embracing rough textures and unfinished surfaces to capture the essence and vitality of his subjects. His technique of leaving works seemingly incomplete challenged the established norms of his time but greatly influenced subsequent generations of artists.

Throughout his career, Rodin faced both critical acclaim and controversy. His unconventional methods and rejection of traditional norms sometimes met with resistance from the artistic establishment. Nevertheless, he persisted in pursuing his artistic vision, creating a vast body of work that transcended conventional boundaries and left an indelible mark on the art world. His reputation grew slowly, but by 1900 he was known throughout the world.

Auguste Rodin passed away on November 17, 1917, in Meudon, France, leaving behind an extraordinary legacy that continues to inspire and captivate artists and art enthusiasts worldwide.


  1. Butler, Ruth. "Rodin: The Shape of Genius." Yale University Press, 1993.
  2. Elsen, Albert E. "Rodin." Museum of Modern Art, 1963.
  3. Le Normand-Romain, Antoinette. "Rodin: The Cantor Gift to the Brooklyn Museum." Yale University Press, 2009.

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