Musée No:325.178

Musée No:325.178

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Erotic Watercolour

Artist: Auguste Rodin
Date:1905

Auguste Rodin (1840 – 1917) is generally considered to be the Founder of Modern Sculpture, and is famous for works like The Thinker & The Kiss. He was the son of an inspector in the Paris Préfecture de Police and a seamstress. The prestigious École des Beaux-Arts refused him entrance so in a way he escaped the formal Neoclassical training that his contemporaries learnt, maybe freeing him to create his own style, but there is no denying that it took him longer to get started. In 1876, Rodin travelled to Italy, stopping along the way in a number of French cities the start of his love of French architecture. In Italy, he was deeply impressed by the work of Michelangelo, which would influence his own style for years to come. By 1900 he was famous worldwide and sort after by private wealthy clients and was often surrounded by high profile intellectuals.

He was also a prolific draughtsman, producing some 10,000 drawings, the large majority of which are now in the Musée Rodin, Paris. Many of his later drawings of female figures, both alone and together, are remarkable for their freedom, spontaneity and sexuality/eroticism. He often drew the forms without ever taking his eyes from the models themselves, not looking at the paper, in an attempt to capture the human form in motion by making quick sketches. His drawings were rarely used as studies or projects for a sculpture or monument, this skill seems to have developed alongside his sculptures. The paper is now unstable and fragile so they are seldom exhibited but their importance to the great man is clear and he said himself at the end of his life, “It’s very simple. My drawings are the key to my work,”

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