Like many artists, famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin was an extremely interesting character, and art lovers visiting Paris may want to learn more about him at related Paris attractions. At the House of Auguste Rodin, visitors can see the place where the artist created many of his finest masterpieces, while in the museum they can learn more about his life and works.
Rodin is generally seen as an enabler of modern forms of sculpture, but this would have been the least of his intentions. The artist was taught in traditional methods and opted for a craftsman-like approach to sculpting, rather than acting particularly artistic. Sadly, he was very much set on attaining academic recognition, but never really achieved this during his lifetime, and most of his most famous sculptures received a lot of negative criticism while he was alive.
The world can thank Italy for the sculptures of Auguste Rodin as it was after a 1875 trip here that the artist created his first full-scale work, which was entitled The Age of Bronze. This provocative sculpture was modelled by a Belgian soldier, and was seen as an attempt to combine Michelangelo's genius eye for the human form with Rodin's unique sense of human nature.
During his life, Rodin was commissioned to make a number of public works, many of which were met with controversy. One of his most-criticised works was his tribute to Victor Hugo in 1889, which dealt widely with the subject of artist and muse. Newspaper The Times criticised this sculpture, saying: "There is some show of reason in the complaint that [Rodin's] conceptions are sometimes unsuited to his medium, and that in such cases they overstrain his vast technical powers."
Visitors wanting to learn more about this controversial figure should first opt for a visit to the House of Auguste Rodin at Meudon, where they can gain an insight into the sculptor's personal life. The building itself is in the style of Louis VIII and Rodin moved in there with his lifetime companion Rose Beuret in 1893. It was here that he worked on personal works of art while at the same time taking on public commissions to help out his family, and he created some of his finest masterpieces within the walls of the Maison d'Auguste Rodin a Meudon.
When it comes to studying the sculptor professionally, however, people should head over to the nearby Rodin Museum, which is home to some of his most famous visually stunning works, including The Thinker, the Monument to Balzac, The Walking Man, Man with the Broken Nose and Crouching Woman.
As well as the sculptures that made him famous, the museum holds many of the artist's other creative works, including an archive of drawings. The prolific draughtsman made more than 10,000 drawings during his life, and over 7,000 of these are now exhibited in the Musee Rodin in Paris. Despite sculpture being his forte, these drawings were rarely used as studies for a sculpture, but he made it clear how important they were, saying: "It's very simple. My drawings are the key to my work."
The museum also shows off prints, paintings, ceramics, photographs and classic arts by the artist and linked to his work. Excitingly, it has made three new acquisitions recently, including Madame Fenaille, which was created circa 1900, and a letter from Auguste Rodin to Claude Monet.