The sculptor later wrote “When I saw him, I was immediately struck; this rough, dishevelled man expressed through his gait, his features, and his physical force, all the violence, but also all the mystical character, of his race. Because of its naturalism, Rodin was falsely accused at one point of having taken plaster casts directly from his live model. These include Count Ugolino and his sons, the Three Shades, and Paolo and Francesca. The sculpture was commissioned by Rodin in 1884, who designed the figure as one of six colossal statues forming a monument to a group of 14-century citizens of the northern French town of Calais. Featured image: Auguste Rodin - Burghers of Calais, 1884-1895. His body of work includes some of the most renowned sculptures in Western art, such as The Thinker, The Kiss and The Age of Bronze.. By the beginning of the 20th century Auguste Rodin had achieved fame throughout the world, and a museum dedicated to his artwork was even agreed upon by Rodin … Rodin later stated that the mask “determined all my future work”. Originally called The Poet, The Thinker was first conceived as a figure in The Gates of Hell, who is sat on the lintel above the doors, observing and pondering the damned individuals below him. Featured image: Auguste Rodin - Monument to Balzac, 1892-1897. Created in 1880 and cast in 1904, The Thinker is probably Auguste Rodin's most famous sculpture. Today, there are twelve original castings of the sculpture, including the ones in Rodin Museum in Paris, France, Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, Kunstmuseum in Basel, and the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, among others. Male and female torsos, copies made in the Roman or modern period, after Greek works, were presented in these natural surroundings, their contours dappled by the sunlight: “Nature and Antiquity are the two great sources of life for an artist. Among the most renown bronze works by Auguste Rodin, Monument to Balzac celebrated the French novelist Honoré Balzac. The first bronzes were erected in the gardens before World War I. View all posts by Michael Partridge, Ten of the Most Famous Paintings by Jacques-Louis David, French Humour: 5 French Jokes that are Popular among Native Speakers. Bowman Sculpture is the leading gallery offering authentic Rodin sculpture in lifetime bronzes. Museum sales include She who once was the Helmet-Maker’s Beautiful Wife to the Van Gogh Museum and the correspondence between the artist and his model, Sybil Mignon Cooke, to the Musée Rodin. It was cast in bronze 22 years after the sculptor's death and placed in Paris. Micheal Partridge is the definition of a francophile. There’s even an installation shaped like The Thinker at a toilet theme park in South Korea. > Discover the charm of a café located in the heart of the garden, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (U.S.A.), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (U.S.A.), Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art (Japan), Art Gallery of South Australia, (Australia). Rodin’s commission was subsequently cancelled and it was not until 1939 that a bronze cast was put up in Paris. Rodin later claimed that when he was making the bust, he could not afford to heat his studio overnight, and during one night in winter, the back of the bust froze and broke off. The early influence of sorrowed surfaces created by Rodin could be seen in Picasso’s Head of a Woman and Matisse’s series of Jeannette busts. Featured image: Auguste Rodin - The Gates of Hell, 1880 - circa 1890. One of the best known Rodin's sculptures, Les Bourgeois de Calais commemorates an event during the Hundred Years' War, when Calais, a French port on the English Channel, was under siege by Edward III for about eleven months. A truly unique piece in the artist's oeuvre, these figures and groups formed a breeding ground for ideas which Rodin drew on for the rest of his working life. His lifelike figures embodied modern attitudes of love, thought, and proud physicality. When the plaster was first exhibited in 1898, it received derision from critics, who attacked its indiscernible form and compared it to a snowman, a toad in a sack and a seal. In 1988, the smaller version of the sculpture was exhibited individually, when it became an independent work. Featured image: Auguste Rodin - The Thinker, 1880, cast 1904. In 1880, Auguste Rodin was commissioned to create a set of monumental bronze doors for a new museum of decorative arts in Paris. In 1891, Rodin was commissioned to create a sculpture of the French playwright and novelist Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850). The enlarged version in marble was commissioned by the French state in 1888, which Rodin took nearly ten years to deliver. Today, several versions of the sculpture exist worldwide, including one in the gardens of the Rodin Museum in Paris and another in the gardens of Rodin’s house in Meudon, on the tomb of the sculptor and his wife. Featured image: Auguste Rodin - Burghers of Calais, 1884-1895. The couple was discovered and killed by Giovanni as they exchanged their first kiss, condemned to wander eternally through Hell. To share his passion with others, he set up The French Desk and has now begun to write books that aim to help learners of all stages improve their French. Although the museum did not come to fruition and the doors were never fully realized, The Gates of Hell became the defining project of Rodin's career and a key to understanding his artistic aims. Born in 1840 into a working-class family in Paris, France, Auguste Rodin was largely self-educated and began to draw at age 10. This sculpture was modelled on a local handyman named ‘Bibi’, who Rodin chose to depict because of his defined facial features and broken nose. Featured image: Auguste Rodin - The Kiss, 1882. As city officials commissioned a piece to celebrate the heroism of de Saint Pierre, Rodin's design which included all six figures depicted in "pain, anguish and fatalism" was initially controversial. He was critical of the piece, calling it ‘a large sculpted knick-knack following the usual formula’, and only agreed to having it exhibited in 1898, when it was shown alongside his notorious work Monument to Balzac. As Rodin explained, he wanted to capture the writer's persona rather than a physical likeness. However, by the time of his death, the sculptor was likened to Michelangelo. The marble gallery was created in 1971 as a storeroom and exhibition space, allowingmore works to be displayed in the museum. The less specific title, The Kiss, was later suggested by the critics. Rodin died at the age of 77 before seeing the result of all these long years of effort.