Tag Archives: MuseumArt

Rodin’s Answer to Rejection.

13 Sep
rodin angels

The Benedictions, executed 1894
Musee Rodin cast number unknown, 1955 bronze
Marked: “A. Rodin”, “Georges Rudier Fondeur Paris”
35 1/2x24x19” Lent by the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation

Attending Syracuse University’s Lunchtime Lecture afforded me the opportunity to hear Professor Romita Ray’s wealth of information and insight into the current show, Rodin: The Human Experience.

This free event is open to the public and gives visitors a chance to familiarize themselves with Rodin and all of the SU Galleries in the Shaffer Art Building on campus.

The show has 28 bronze sculptures all by the French sculptor, Auguste Rodin (1840-1917).  Rodin is considered the father of modern European sculpture and he studied under Antoine Louis-Barye.

Rodin came from a working class family, his father a police inspector and his mother a seamstress.  After he was rejected from Ecole des Beaux-Arts (art school), he worked for sculptor Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse for six years.  After having his sculpture rejected from the Salon several times, he was determined to continue working in his own style.  He was inspired by Michelangelo’s work during his travels to Italy in 1876.  Not long after that his work began receiving positive attention and international fame.

Professor Ray gave insight into the political events that were happening during the time Rodin was creating various sculptures. It was interesting how critics of the era responded.  She took time to describe the actual process of creating a bronze sculpture, which I found very helpful.  She told us how Rodin described sculpting as simply “making holes and bumps”, gave a hand-out full of detail and explained how the Rodin sculptures “Vibrate” power without many details.  It is fascinating to see how this artist was able to give the feeling of flesh and fabric using a metal.  Some of Rodin’s sculptures feature oversized feet, hands or other body parts, which Professor Ray stated “Art is about more than beauty, it’s also about exaggeration.”  I saw the exaggeration as Rodin’s expression of power or strength.

Professor Ray explained that the emotional pieces that were rejected were also the same pieces that later were considered to be masterpieces.  Rodin’s art is considered a link between traditional and modern sculpture and is rich with feeling.

I appreciate artist stories and particularly enjoy hearing the successes – how one persevered, overcame and found success.  What can I take away from this?  Sometimes it’s important to ignore the critics (even if they are only in your own head) and push yourself to create the best work you possibly can.

Syracuse University has many free events, so be sure to check out their art and newsletter here: http://suart.syr.edu/  ♦

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