Auguste RodinAuguste Rodin
) was a French sculptor
Gate to Hell (on the upper third "The Thinker"
as described on the left
picture taken from the sculpture in Zürich
Born François-Auguste-René Rodin
on November 12
, in Paris, France
, he stands at the culmination of the figurative tradition in sculpture
, and after him sculptors increasingly turned towards abstraction
. However, some of his works, including "The Thinker" (French Le Penseur
) and "The Kiss
" (French Le Baiser
), remain among the most immediately recognisable sculptures in the Western artistic tradition. Ironically, neither was ever intended to be a major work - both were expanded details of Rodin's great unfinished work "Gate to Hell", a great set of doors for the Museum of Decorative Arts commissioned in 1880
and unfinished at his death in 1917 depicting scenes from Dante
in high relief. Indeed, The Thinker
may represent the poet Dante
Rodin worked in both marble and bronze. Other notable sculptures by Rodin include The Burghers of Calais (French Les Bourgeois de Calais), Caryatid Fallen Under Her Stone, She Who Once Was the Beautiful Heaulmiere and his funerary monuments for Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac.
Rodin had an affair with one of his (female) students, the sculptor and graphic artist Camille Claudel.
Auguste Rodin died in Meudon, Île-de-France, France
on November 17, 1917.
The French government owns the rights to Rodin's work - acquired in exchange for a lifetime lease on a home and studio - and limits the number of reproductions that can be made. The Musée Rodin, in Paris, has an excellent collection of his work, much of it displayed in an outdoor garden.
Where to find Rodin's sculptures:
- Musée Rodin, Paris, France
- Rodin Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- A bust of Joseph Pulitzer by the artist is in the World Room of Journalism Hall at Columbia University
- Sculpture Garden, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA
- Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, California, USA
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
- Public displays:
- Statue of Honoré de Balzac, Boulevard Raspail, near Boulevard Montparnasse, in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, France.
- Statue The Burghers of Calais on Calais' main square.
Rodin the artist should not be confused with Rodan the monster.