Auguste Rodin (French Sculptor)

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2015-06-26 11:19:10

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Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) was a French sculptor.

Background

Rodin was born in Paris to a working class family. Rodin began artistry tendencies at the age of ten and grew to become a celebrated sculptor of his time whose works drew both admiration and criticism in equal measure. He studied painting and drawing in school (Petite Ecole School of art and mathematics) and competed in 1857. However his attempts to gain entry to the more advanced school of art in Paris (Grand Ecole) were unsuccessful.

Dejected he became a craftsman for almost the next two decades. All along, his sculptural unique talent never faded. Indeed by 1900, wealthy clients sought his works as he had become extremely famous. He married his wife Rose Beuret in 1864 and together they got a son. However soon after his death from influenza in 1917, his works suffered a beating but his legacy would solidify decades later specifically since the 1950s.

Influence on other artists

Rodin can arguably be described as one of the greatest artists of his time. In fact many scholars have used him as a subject of their scholarly work. Though highly celebrated for his artistic genius, Rodin never influenced a large number of followers equivalent to his big name. However, among his few students and followers include Antoine Bourdelle who would become a prolific and influential French painter, sculptor and teacher. Others are Charles Despiau who once worked as Rodin’s assistant between 1907-1914; Malvina Hoffman who was American and was known for her sculptures of people and French graphic artist and sculptor Camille Claudel who at one time was Rodin’s mistress.

Famous works of Rodin

Rodin had a number of famous works under his belt but the most outstanding one remains The Age of Bronze (1877). This controversial piece of work that was a bronze male figure the size of an adult led Rodin to face allegations of sculptural cheating from his predecessor Michelangelo’s Dying Slave. However after a committee of sculptures meeting was held and investigations done, he was absolved of any wrongdoing.

His other notable piece of work was The Thinker (1902). This was a sculpture made of bronze and marble and represented a seated man in a pensive mood. It is available in Musee Rodin in Paris. Others include The Kiss (1889) depicting a couple holding each other; St John the Baptist Preaching (1878); Fugit Amor; The Falling Man, and The Prodigal Son.

Rodin’s most expensive sculpture

Rodin’s sculpture by the name “Eve, Grand Modele”, c. (1885) marked one of the greatest sales he ever made recording a premium price of $18.97 million at Christies NY, in may 2008. It was initially created for his other earlier works The Gates of Hell.

Notable auction sales

Given that most of Rodin’s works were riddled with authenticity controversies, the sale of “Eve, Grand Modele” will be remembered in history as one of his notable sales.

Popularity with collectors

Rodin’s ability to represent the human body in his works made him very popular with collectors. Indeed most of his popular works such as the thinker and the kiss are widely used as symbols of human character and emotion even outside the realms of fine arts.

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