Auguste Rodin often considered the father of modern sculpture has been internationally recognised as one of the worlds greatest sculptors.His best-known masterpieces include The Kiss, The Thinker and the Gates of Hell.
Born in November 12, (1840 – 1917) in Paris into a working-class family, his illustrious career spanned the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Rodin was always fascinated by art and took up drawing when was ten years old. When he was 14 years of age, he enrolled himself at Petite École, a school that specialised in art and mathematics where he studied drawing and painting for three years.
Always deeply inspired by tradition Rodin rebelled against its idealized forms, introducing innovative practices that paved the way for modern sculpture. He believed that art should be true to nature, a philosophy that shaped his attitudes to models and materials. Many know Rodin for the controversies surrounding certain of his works, such as the scandals around The Age of Bronze or the Monument to Honoré de Balzac, and for his unfinished projects, most famously The Gates of Hell. But few who recognize Rodin’s sculptures have failed to be moved by them.
His genius was to express inner truths of the human psyche, and his gaze penetrated beneath the external appearance of the world. Exploring this realm beneath the surface, Rodin developed an agile technique for rendering the extreme physical states that correspond to expressions of inner turmoil or overwhelming joy. He sculpted a universe of great passion and tragedy, a world of imagination that exceeded the mundane reality of everyday existence. Rodin died on November 17, 1917 from lung congestion. A cast of The Thinker was placed next to his tomb in Meudon; it was Rodin’s wish that the figure serve as his headstone and epitaph for all to admire.
Photo © Rodin The Kiss Turner Contemporary Margate ArtLyst 2012