Rodin frequently explored the further possibilities that arose from existing projects, revisiting the form, scale, material and, most significantly, the intention of his ideas. The sculpture “Inner Voice” began as a nude in which Rodin combined body parts from his other sculptures- the torso of a female figure joins the arms and legs of a male. This version was known as Meditation. He designed a small-scale hybrid for The Gates of Hell, where it appears in the upper right corner.
Rodin later developed the figure as ‘The Inner Voice’, one of two muses intended for the monument in Paris to the writer Victor Hugo, commissioned in 1886. After many revisions, Rodin ended up producing this figure. He cut off the arms and removed drapery that covered the knee, which signaled Rodin’s increasingly conceptual approach to sculpture.
Rodin is known for his ability to forgo realism and decoration in favor of using texture, surface details, and light and shadow to convey emotion. His focus on inner emotion and suffering is a turning point in the history of art and serves as a hallmark of Modernism.
Auguste Rodin (1840 – 1917) French Sculptor, born in Paris in 184, died in Meudon in 1917. He is considered one of the prominent sculptors of the modern era. His statues St. John the Baptist Preaching, Eve, The Age of Bronze, and The Thinker are world famous. Rodin died on Nov. 17, 1917, and was buried at Meudon. When Rodin was 76 years old he gave the French government the entire collection of his own works and other art objects he had acquired. They occupy the Hotel Biron in Paris as the Musee Rodin and are still placed as Rodin set them. He played a pivotal role in redefining sculpture in the late nineteenth century, both excelling at and transcending the academic Beaux-Arts tradition. His work redefined sculpture. Possessing an ability to organize a complex, turbulent, deeply pocketed surface, he set himself apart from the predominant figure sculpture tradition of the time. Rodin’s most notable sculptures were roundly criticized during his lifetime. A pose might be considered too informal; the lack of a traditional theme found wanting; the exactness of his forms too real; or the “unfinishedness” of his surfaces disrespectful.
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