Rodin: Evolution of a Genius exhibit was at VMFA and I had the pleasure of seeing it a few weeks ago. The exhibit examines his techniques, materials, models and assistants, and explores the extraordinary working process behind some of his best known works.
(Read more at http://vmfa.museum/exhibitions/exhibitions/auguste-rodin/#8wzdDt6vYG6xPVGK.99).
It was one of the few exhibits the VMFA allowed photography in so I, of course, snapped away!
One of the first rooms held Rodin’s study of hands, including his work Hand of God as well as a cast of his own hand.
In the background is a photograph of the Gates of Hell and depicts a scene from “The Inferno,” the first section of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Even though the museum it was commissioned for was never fully realized, Rodin spent over 30 years reworking it. Several pieces in this exhibit were originally conceived for this piece, including The Thinker, The Three Shades and The Kiss.
The history of The Monument to Balzac
The Three Shades
I first remember seeing “The Thinker” outside The Legion of Honor, part of the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, when we lived there in the early 2000s. Here is a monumental plaster cast version.
Rodin liked to use photography both as a means of documenting his work and later as a way to edit his compositions.
The Call to Arms
One of his most famous pieces is the Burghers of Calais. Here are three of the six men depicted in that grouping.