My favorite sculptor: Auguste Rodin! As I have mentioned in a previous post, I am a huge fan of his work. That started when I was still a student of Japanese culture and language at the Hamburg University. In one of my seminars I had to do a presentation about how Japanese culture influenced artists all around the world.
That’s how I stumbled upon Auguste Rodin and his sculptures. I researched him and his artworks and was extremely impressed by the pictures I saw in the books and on the internet. I found out that there is a museum in Paris which was almost completely dedicated to him and remember thinking at the time: I really really really want to go there and see his artworks! (The first time I saw his sculptures was in London, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, though.)
I love how his sculptures are so detailed, you can see every muscle on them. They are almost full of life, as if at the next moment, the face could turn and start talking to you (that sounds a bit creepy, but it’s how I feel when I see his sculptures). Another reason why I love his artwork is because some of the sculptures have this fantastic unfinished feeling about them, they are sculpted out of a big chunk of marble or other kinds of stones. It is amazing.
Being in Paris there was simply no way that I would skip a visit to the Musée Rodin. We went there on a cold March morning and found out that part of the museum was closed due to renovation. Bummer! But they built another building just outside the museum which presented some of his artworks, sculptures, works in progress or sketches, as well as some of his pupils.
We were still able to go into the museum and see at least a part of it. Apparently Rodin used to live in this building when it was still called Hôtel Biron with other artists. And you can feel it in the atmosphere, it had this kind of lived-in feeling that old buildings have. It was wonderful to be there in this house, seeing the old used fireplaces and the creaking floorboards. The house was kept in a very good condition, although a bit dusty and in some corners the paint was coming off. That gave the building an even more antiquated feeling.
There is also a big garden surrounding the museum, where some of his biggest artworks are displayed, for example The Thinker, The Three shades, Burghers of Calais or The Gates of Hell.
Next time I’m in Paris I’d like to go back to the Musée Rodin to see this beautiful building after the renovation.
How about you? Do you have a favorite artist or sculptor?