Thursday, 4 February 2021

Rodin, at the heart of sculpture

I first discovered Rodin's sculptures many years ago on a visit to Paris in the Musee D'Orsay. However, it wasn't until I visited Lisbon and the Gulbenkian Museum that I was WOWed by his sculpture. Hence a visit to Paris had to include a visit to the Musee Rodin. 

Right hands

We arrived at opening time and spent most of the day there, eating a picnic in the garden. There is no denying that I love his sculptures! I spent half the day inside visiting the various themed rooms which traces a rough chronological journey of his life. Then the afternoon outside in the amazing gardens with his bigger scaled sculptures including "Le Penser".

"Le Penser"

Rodin originally rented rooms in the mansion from 1908. It now houses some of his amazing collection.

He learnt sculpture initially in a very traditional way, his early works were very precise but lacked character . He also studied the work of famous sculpturers he admired and in particular observed the very best of Roman sculpture. He realised that quality was important and also strict observation of the subject. He experimented by paring things back and was able to make a move forward with his sculpture from that point. He always tried to capture emotion and character in his figures. The shape, movement and form were everything to him. I love the way that he also seemed to be in tune with the material he used such as stone or bronze. One can feel the process of a figure being modelled from the stone.

"L'homme qui marche"

Draped torso

I tried to make a few sketches of his work but I think I was rather in awe so they haven't turned out as well as I would have liked. I think my favourites were the small sculptures such as "Le Désespoir" and "Le Réveil". If you have a chance to visit Paris I definitely recommend visiting this museum.

"Le Réveil"

"Le Désespoir"

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