Auguste Rodin

(1840 - 1917)

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Following, you will find a general view of the Gates along with three close-up views from the side panels.
(These photos were taken at Stanford University).
(Please click on the small thumbnail photos to see the full effect)
Gates of Hell, Side close-up Gates of Hell, Side close-up Gates of Hell, Side close-up Gates of Hell, Side close-up
In some respects, Rodin spent his life communicating with women and adoring women. His greatest admirers and scholars were female.
He was an excellent speaker and communicator, despite not having earned a degree or masters in communications.
He emphasized sensual nature over reason. I think that the story of his long suffering and faithful wife -- Rose Beuret -- would make an excellent movie or novel.
This sculpture shows Rose as young, proud and defiant warrior.
Rodin Sculpture Bellona
From the viewpoint of Rodin's friends she was a non-entity. A grey shadow serving meals and cleaning house; but she was also the rock who stood by his side for more than 50 years. I have an image in my mind of her loving attention as she bathed and maintained Rodin's clay figures during the dark winters of war and rebellion during the late 1800's.
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In Paris, just around the corner from the Hotel d'Invalides, is the Hotel Biron. This Mus´┐Że Rodin was the final town home of Mr. Rodin. It contains his personal art collection which included a few fine Van Gough's and several portraits of Rodin by other artists. Paris Hotel Biron exterior Paris Hotel Biron interior
One thing that struck me during my Year 2000 trip was that "great art" can include pretty or mundane subjects. Surely some of Rodin's sweet early work is just as "great" as his more monumental later work. This marble Diane is from 1875 while Madame Fenaille is an 1898 terra cotta. In his final years many of his portraits seemed to have been created for money rather than passion. Paris Hotel Biron Dianw Paris Hotel Biron Fenaille
After 1900 much of his passion went into making detailed pencil sketches of his model lovers. His famous passionate sculpture from this period seems to be designed primarily for its popular appeal. Paris Hotel Biron The Kiss
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My favourite Rodin sculpture is the Balzac in the courtyard of The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia... but these examples are the grounds of the Hotel Biron and a small copy at Stanford. Balzac sculpture outside Hotel Biron Balzac sculpture at Stanford
Burghers of Calais The front of the British Parliament buildings is a magnificent setting for the Burghers of Calais. An observer might wonder of the feelings of the original French burghers who are now captured in such an English setting. The scene portrayed in bronze captures the town burghers as they surrendered to an invading English army.
San Francisco Legion Honor
In San Francisco, the beautifully situated Palace of the Legion of Honor has an excellent collection.
SF Legion Honor
Their Rodins were mainly collected and donated by Adolph B. and Alma Spreckels. One shows the Three Shades that are also found at the top of The Gates.
Rodin Saint John Walking
In the collection is a standing St. John the Baptist Preaching.
If you appreciate this page, please visit my New York, Paris 2000 and Art 2000 pages for more Rodin art.

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