- NAME: Auguste Rodin
- OCCUPATION: Sculptor
- BIRTH DATE: November 12, 1840
- DEATH DATE: November 17, 1917
- EDUCATION: Petite École, École des Beaux-Arts
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Paris, France
- PLACE OF DEATH: Meudon, France
- Full Name: François-Auguste-René Rodin
- AKA: François Auguste René Rodin
- AKA: François Rodin
- AKA: Rodin
- AKA: Auguste Rodin
Best Known For
French sculptor Auguste Rodin is known for creating several iconic works, including "The Age of Bronze," "The Thinker," "The Kiss" and "The Burghers of Calais."
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A depiction of suffering amidst hope for the future, the work was first exhibited in 1878, when Rodin was in his late 30s. While "The Age of Bronze" earned Rodin some recognition as a sculptor, he remained a relative unknown until a few years later, in the early 1880s—when Rodin, in his early 40s, first established both his distinct artistic style and a credible list of works.
Rodin went on to create several other famous works, including "The Burghers of Calais,
" a public monument made of bronze portraying a moment during the Hundred Years' War between France and England, in 1347. The piece, which includes six human statues, depicts a war account that Rodin had researched, during which six French citizens from the town of Calais were ordered by King Edward III of England to abandon Calais and surrender themselves—barefoot and bareheaded, wearing ropes around their necks and holding the keys to the town and the caste in their hands—to the king, who ordered their execution thereafter. "The Burghers of Calais" is a portrayal of the moment that the citizens exited Calais. Rodin began working on the monument in 1884, after being commissioned by the town of Calais to create it. However, the piece wasn't unveiled in the town until more than a decade later, in 1895.
After being commissioned to create an entrance piece for a planned museum (which was never built) in 1880, Rodin began working on "The Gates of Hell," an intricate monument of various sculpted figures, including "The Thinker" (1880) and "The Kiss" (1886). Although "The Gates of Hell" was commissioned for completion by 1884, the project proved to be more time-consuming than anyone had originally anticipated; several decades after its projected due date, Rodin was still working on the piece.
Sadly, Rodin didn't live to finish "The Gates of Hell"; he was still working on the piece when he died on November 17, 1917, in Meudon, France.
Garnering acclaim for more than a century, Rodin is widely regarded as the pioneer of modern sculpture. His work continues to be studied and deeply admired by fellow artists, experts, scholars and art connoisseurs, as well as those with an untrained eye.
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