visiting musée Rodin
A chance visit to the Rodin museum in Paris, a museum I had never visited before. Located in the classical Hôtel Biron [almost an anagram of Rodin!] and which was just renovated a few months ago, thanks to support from the French State and the Cantor Foundation. The building and gardens are superb, with the massive sculptures of the Bourgeois de Calais and the Porte de l’Enfer standing against the background of the golden dome of the Invalides…
I had a very vague idea of Rodin’s career and production, hence was quite impressed by the range of sculptures, casts, paintings and drawing he produced. While some sculptures kept a strong connection with classicism, the progressive distanciation from the official canons is striking. As is the series of sculptures as steps to the final realisation, most visible in the museum for the sculpture of Gustave Flaubert. I was quite impressed by the plaster cast of one of Flaubert’s gown, which manages to suggest the writer without any human representation.
The other obvious clue of this distanciation is the progressive inclusion of the raw material like marble in the sculpture, not only as a deconstructionist trick of “art in action” but also as a birth from the original silt. Some of the later pieces are striking annunciations of Picasso or Braque.