Best of: Auguste Rodin

Best of: Auguste Rodin

Rainer Maria Rilke

Language: English

Pages: 200

ISBN: 2:00084874

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Best of series presents, as the name suggests, highlights from the work of renowned artists accompanied by biographical text

This book has one master's writings on another: Rilke's essays on Rodin, with a selection of the best of the artist's work.

Influenced by both the masters of Antiquity, the genius of Michelangelo and Baroque sculpture, notably Bernini, Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) is one of the most renowned artists in history. Though Rodin is considered a founder of modern sculpture, he did not set out to critique past classical traditions. Many of his sculptures were criticised and considered controversial because of their sensuality or realistic qualities. His most original works departed from traditional themes of mythology and allegory and embraced the human body, celebrated individualism and physicality.

This book uncovers the life and career of this celebrated artist by exploring his most famous works of art such as the Gates of Hell, The Thinker and the infamous The Kiss.


Here is a book I came across recently that is a magnificent weaving of Rodin, the sculptor generally recognized as second only to Michelangelo and Rilke, the poet, who, to many knowing minds, is the poet without peer. Rodin the subject, Rilke the observer, whose prose here remains poetic, were bound by the work as the young poet served as the master's secretary. They were bound in heart as well, though Rodin, in a misunderstanding, fired Rilke. Rilke brings Rodin, nonetheless, to us so that we see his astounding modesty, despite his prodigious gifts, and his grasp of the likelihood his renderings would remain homeless--their greatness not known until after his death. With this, he was unmoved, and in his work, unquenched in spirit, passing along his bounty of heart to his students. The book will sit well on your coffee table, smaller than most such selections, but its 88 pages of exquisite prose and photographic samples of the man's acute sensibilities, are sure to prompt worthy explorations among your guests. - Allan Cox, author














rather, the most important thing is that they be well-made. This workmanship, this working with the purest conscience, was everything. Recreating a thing meant going over every part, concealing nothing, betraying nothing; knowing hundreds of profiles, every angle and overlap. Only then was a thing there, only then was it an island, separated completely from the continent of uncertainty. This work (the work on the modèle) was the same in everything one made, and it had to be done so humbly, so

traverse the long path to abundance in silent solemnity. In the same way, Rodin was not presumptuous enough to create trees. He began with the seed, underground as it were. And this seed grew downward, sinking its roots into the earth, anchoring itself before the first small shoot began to rise up. This took time and then more time. And when the few friends around him pushed and prodded, Rodin would say, “One must never hurry.” 18 BO Rodin 4C.qxp 3/14/2011 5:06 PM Page 19 Then came the

The eyes lie beneath stony old brows, seeing clearly within and without. The mouth of a faun’s mask, half concealed and augmented by the sensuous silence of new centuries. And beneath it the beard as if too long restrained, cascading downward in a single white wave. And the figure bearing this head, as if not to be moved from the spot. And if we had to say what it is that emanates from this figure, it would be this: it seems to reach back like a river god and look forward like a prophet. This

in those years, affirmation of what he wanted and was searching for, it came from the art of antiquity and from the furrowed darkness of cathedrals. Living human beings didn’t speak to him in those years. Stones spoke. If the Man with the Broken Nose had demonstrated Rodin’s profound understanding of the human face, the First Man manifested his complete mastery of the body. “Souverain tailleur d’ymaiges” (Soverign tailor of images) – that title used selflessly by the masters of the Middle Ages to

to the one it came from: a new thing arises out of it and the object it touches or grasps, a thing that has no name and belongs to no one, and it is this new thing, which has its own definite boundaries, that matters from that point on. This vision provides the basis for the grouping of figures in Rodin; from it comes that unprecedented interconnectedness of the figures, that inseparability of the forms, that not letting go, not at any price. He doesn’t set out to create figures, and there are no

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