Occupation: Sculptor, Artist
Movement: Naturalism, Impressionism
Auguste Rodin's Famous Artworks
"St. John the Baptist Preaching," 1880
"The Age of Bronze," 1877
"The Walking Man," 1878
"The Burghers of Calais," 1889
"The Kiss," 1889
"Monument to Balzac," 1897
"The Thinker," 1902
"The Gates of Hell," 1917
Auguste Rodin is now known as the artist who incorporated sculpture into Impressionism
, though he was not recognized as an artist during the early years of his career.
Auguste Rodin's Early Life
Francois Auguste René Rodin was born to Marie and Jean-Baptiste Rodin in Paris. Jean-Baptiste worked in the police department and Marie was a dressmaker. Rodin was quite short sighted from a very early age, which made it hard for him to learn reading and writing. However, he had a natural talent for drawing and began taking formal classes in 1850.
Rodin joined the École Imperiale de Dessin at the age of 14, where he was taught by Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran. He tried and failed to gain admission to the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts three times, so, he supported himself as a decorative bricklayer and craftsman from then on.
When his sister died in 1862, Rodin went through a crisis and joined the holy order of the Pères du Très-Saint-Sacrement. The abbot, Pierre-Julien Eymard, convinced him that his talents lay in the world of art. Thus encouraged, Rodin left the order and began taking classes with the sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye. In 1866, he and his long-term companion Rose Beuret had a baby boy who was named Auguste-Eugene.
Auguste Rodin's Late Beginning
The same year, Rodin joined the atelier of Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, a well-known sculptor. He worked with Carrier-Belleuse for the next many years. Rodin was briefly drafted into the army during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 but was discharged because of his poor eyesight.
In the meantime, Carrier-Belleuse had departed for Brussels and Rodin joined him there. He lived there for the next six years, managing to finally make some money. In 1875, he visited Italy
where he was inclined towards the work of Michelangelo and Donatello.
He returned to Paris in 1877. The previous year, he had made “The Age of Bronze” that came in for criticism for being too realistic. He worked for a number of sculptors with no real success of his own. In 1880, he was employed at the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres porcelain factory. Around this time, Rodin began exhibiting at the Paris Salon, the official exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. This led to a meeting with Edmund Turquet, who worked at the Ministry of Fine Arts. The meeting was a turning point for Rodin. Through Turquet he was commissioned to make “The Gates of Hell,” which he worked on for 40 years before leaving it unfinished. “The Thinker,” one of Rodin’s best-known works, resulted from this project. Auguste Rodin's paintings
were highly appreciated by his viewers.
Auguste Rodin's Middle and Later Years
In 1883, Rodin began a relationship with Camille Claudel, an 18-year-old model, and an artist and sculptor in her own right. Meanwhile, his career had taken off, and he began receiving many commissions, including the one for “The Burghers of Calais” in 1885. By the 1890s, Rodin’s work was being exhibited across Europe and the United States. He contributed over a hundred works for the Exposition Universelle of 1900. His affair with Camille Claudel came to an end in 1898 because she had developed mental problems and he was not prepared to end his relationship with Rose Beuret, either.
He purchased an estate in Meudon in 1897, moving there with Rose. He then moved back to the city the next year and had an affair with the Duchesse de Choiseul. Rodin married Rose Beuret in 1917, more than fifty years since the beginning of their relationship. She died a couple of weeks later. He was taken ill with influenza a little while later and died in his estate in Meudon. Art lovers can buy Auguste Rodin's artworks online.
Auguste Rodin's Major Exhibitions
2005 - Musee Rodin, Paris
2005 - Musee National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec
2005 - Stadtmuseum Jena
2005 - Kunsthalle Schirn, Frankfurt
2006 - Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
2006 - Royal Academy of Arts, London
Auguste Rodin's Museums / Collections
Art Institute of Chicago
Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg
Musée du Louvre, Paris
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Musée Rodin, Paris
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Neue Pinakothek, Munich
Chi-Mei Museum, Taiwan
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires
Museo Sorolla, Madrid
Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro
Books / Publications
"Auguste Rodin" by Rainer Maria Rilke
"Auguste Rodin: Drawings and Watercolors" by Antoinette le Normand-Romain and Christina Buley-Uribe
"Auguste Rodin" by Jane Mayo Roos
"Rodin: The Shape of Genius" by Ruth Butler
"Auguste Rodin" by Gilles Neret
"Auguste Rodin" by Irene Korn