Rodin – VMFA Jan 2016

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.
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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 Minotaur


The Centaur


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 Sirens

The Kiss


The Call to Arms




Eternal Springtime


One of his most famous pieces is the Burghers of Calais. Here are three of the six men depicted in that grouping.



One thought on “Rodin – VMFA Jan 2016

  1. One of your BEST blog posts! I liked your reference to San Francisco and your understanding that the exhibit was more about Rodin’s process as well as his final results. Like the Balzac series of full-size images!

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