Rodin!

I recently spent a rainy morning at the Rodin Museum. The museum is located in Rodin’s old mansion and gardens located in the 7th Arr. of Paris.

Auguste Rodin (1840 – 1917). The museum contains thousands of peices of which perhaps a couple hundred are on display. Bronze, marble, concrete, plaster casts.

I took a lot of photos that day. Here is a sample of the treasure trove. As always, click to enlarge. (Wave the cursor in front of photo to see its reference number.)  Have fun!

Below is a representation of Eve after realizing she has angered God

Museum lights are reflected on the glass in front of this one:

You can see the hand of God reflected in the mirror!:

A view of the gardens as seen from Rodin’s manor house:

The famous “kiss”. This is actually a depiction of courtly love. Courtly love has its price. The lovers were killed by her jealous husband soon afterwards:

A view of Rodin’s house as seen from the garden:

Rodin worked for many years years on his piece called the Gates of Hell, inspired by Dante’s Purgatorio.  Below are the gates, and a couple of close-up and hellish detail shots:

Regarding the matter of Camille Claudell, the museum contains several of her pieces:

Camille Claudel in 1884

Below is the work of Rodin’s student and mistress Camille Claudell. We all know she was a smokin hot artist and a fine sculptor in her own right. Rodin led her on in their relationship, but in the end refused to leave his wife for the smitten apprentice. In Claudels sculpture below we see Rodin being led away by his wife, and in the lower pic we see as Camille vainly reaches for him as he is pulled away.

Unfortunately Camille destroyed most of her own work in a schizophrenic rampage. She was committed to a mental institution by her family where she lived for 30 years until her death in 1943.

21 Replies to “Rodin!”

  1. crude, at least when you start comparing him to michealangelo and devinci and at least a dozen other unnamed greeks. this is what happens in a decadent society, dross becomes high art, i’d say.

  2. got to view The David in Florence a few years back. it really is special, even for Michelangelo. orginally meant to be placed upon the top of the Domo, the big midevil cathedral in Florence, once the public laid eyes upon it, they petitioned the church to leave it on the plazzio, where it could be more easily seen.

    during one of their town riots against the ruling Medici (usual capitalist-type class warfare uprisings), a stone bench was dropped down onto the mob from one of their towers, only to hit The David’s arm and break it off. agast at what they’d done, the statue was repaired and then placed inside for safety where one can still view it amonst some of Michelangelo’s lesser works.

    it literally towers and commands views in all directions. the head is larger than natural, because the master knew that when viewed from afar, as it was originally meant to be, the head would shrink in proportion to the rest of the body.

  3. Michelangelo and Davinci are kind of a lofty standard for appreciating art I think. Its all massively subjective of course. I like Rodin. But I would agree, the moderns just don’t blow my doors off like the works of the ancients, either.

    I also like the religious art of the dark and middle ages, it’s a really creepy time in the history of humanity.

    Anyway, another good thing about the Rodin museum is there are no crowds, they serve pretty good coffee, and you can smoke cigarettes with the locals out in the garden. Try finding that kind of relaxed creature comfort in the Sistene chapel.

    Doom, great story about David’s arm getting ripped off by a bench dropped on the crowd in anger. Ahhh, those were the days.

  4. ooh, i like the good coffee and cigarettes part. they’d probably hang you for smoking in the Sistine chapel. i really hate crowds, so if i have the time in Paris next month, i’ll see if i can go there.

    the crowds in the Louvre around da Vinci’s Mona Lisa really spoil the experience, IMHO. same goes for the Hope diamond at the Smithsonian.

  5. I love Rodin. I flirted with my husband by presenting him with a small book with nude Rodin sculptures inside. One of them was a beautiful nude woman doing carefree cart wheels in graphic detail. I love the sexiness of his stuff, open, free, no hangups, just representing what is.

  6. From June 1981 to May 1982, the National Gallery of Art had a massive exhibition of Rodin’s work encompassing all four floors in the East Bldg. It started on the third floor and ended on the first floor with everyone exiting through a new bronze casting of the “Gates of Hell.”

    Rodin’s work gave me the creeps before I attended that exhibit. After I walked into a room full of his small, ugly drawings hung at eye level of naked girls (with distorted expressions on their faces) squatting, dancing and basically exposing their genitalia to the viewers, I became even less interested in his “art.” I have thought of Rodin as “The Crotch Artist” ever since then.

  7. don’t get me wrong, i like rodin, i even like calder, i guess. but could you imagin rodin or calder putting on a show in 1400 and passing themelves off as masters of thier art? just sayin’.

    the degression in in form and style seems pretty obvious to me. again, just sayin’.

    http://www.calder.org/

  8. and, it may not be be that rodin was less “talented” than say michealangelo, but that public expectations were lower, different, and lower still for calder. so you play to your audience, i’d say.

  9. EE, the Rodin museum in Paris contains many hundreds of his works, and many are nudes, but very few of them are what I would consider crotch pieces. Maybe the French sent all the extra crotch art to WDC. Heh heh.

    For some really serious work on sculpting crotches I think Picasso spent much more time than Rodin in the crotch area. EE, do you think Picasso was just another crotch artist?

    People are pretty obsessed with the crotch area. Why shouldn’t art get involved?

    After many centuries of having to ponder inumerable Jesus, Mary and Venus statues, I think the masses were ready for some really crude and sexy sculpture, even if at the expense of mastered skill and technical aspects. As long as the primal longings and urges were spoken to in these sculptures it must have been emotional and exciting to see them in their day. Nowadays, with all barriers breached and all things being fair game, and given what fantastic spectacles are available for people to gawk at, these late-1800s sculptures can seem tame. Even the crotch pieces.

    Dave, yeah, I always thought Cristo was a fraud and a poser, and Jackson Pollack was just bullshit too, IMO.

  10. ee don’t like wieners, nor pussies niether. it seems that she finds such anatomy disturbing, i guess.

  11. Bif-

    It wasn’t his sculptures that bothered me–they just felt very lugubrious–and by the time I got to the Gates of Hell, I was drained. Those drawings were a different story. It was 30 years ago and nothing much shocked me then but I can still remember feeling the menace emanating from these deliberately ugly and distorted representations of women. Perhaps I would feel differently if I saw them today. Tastes change.

    While it’s a distressing subject, I feel thoroughly unthreatened by this El Greco that I visit whenever I’m at the NGA.

    http://www.nga.gov/collection/gallery/gg29/gg29-33253.html

  12. Think I’ve been here before when we had a previous art outburst, but it can never hurt to be repetitive when the subject of Venus arises–thanks, DD:

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