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Rodin, what’s new

Rodin Kiefer
From March 17 to October 22, 2017
Musée Rodin, Paris, France
Auguste Rodin: The Centenary Installation
From January 28 to April 09, 2017
Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA, USA
Rodin, The Centenary Exhibition
From 22 March to 31 July, 2017
Grand Palais, Paris, France
Rodin: The Human Experience
From January 21 to April 16, 2017
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR, USA
Masterpieces on the 100th Anniversary of the Artist's Death
From March 7 to June 11, 2017
Kunsthalle Bremen, Germany
Versus Rodin: bodies across space and time
From March 4 to July 7, 2017
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
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Rodin, around you

Rodin collections
in France
Rodin collections
in the world

Rodin Ups & Downs

Rodin the Parisian

I was born in 1840 on rue de l’Arbalète, in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. I had four brothers and sisters, but by the age of 22 I was the only surviving child. I was deeply affected by the death of my elder sister, Maria. My parents were simple people; my father passed on his values to me and supported me in my choices. He told me, “If you want to be an artist, be the best.” It was thanks to him that I produced my first artwork.

Rodin at school

I was a mediocre student. I was short-sighted, I had trouble with spelling and grammar. I was the silent type, unwilling to speak in class. Pencils and clay were my natural means of expression.

A blessing in disguise

I failed the entrance exam for the École des Beaux-Arts three times, so I couldn’t apply for the prestigious Prix de Rome scholarship with all its opportunities for artists. I was penniless, with everything to prove. But my years as a craftsman were a blessing in disguise, and stood me in good stead for the rest of my life.

Training in Belgium

I worked hard as an assistant in the studio of Carrier-Belleuse. In 1870, I followed him to Belgium where I stayed for seven years, living a simple life and painting in the Sonian Forest. My partner, Rose, came to join me. Those were the best years of my life!

Critical reception of my work

My reputation was tarnished when I was accused of casting a work straight from a model— and even of using a corpse! Luckily, I had good friends who supported me. The controversy lasted three long years and I had to defend myself, but the scandal paved the way for success.

Auguste Beuret, my son

In 1866, Rose and I had a son, Auguste. I took little care of him, finding fatherhood incompatible with my life as an artist. At my request, however, he came to live with me in the last years of my life, and I made sure he wanted for nothing.

Rodin the reader

It was a great day when the library in the third arrondissement allowed books to be taken home! I obtained a borrower’s card, becoming the library’s 414th member. This was how I discovered Homer, Lamartine and Rousseau, then Dante, Mallarmé and Baudelaire. I even illustrated “Les Fleurs du Mal”.

Rodin and food

I preferred simple dishes such as omelets, stews and apple tarts. I enjoyed a good red wine with my meals. Monet and I had the same wine merchant! In my opinion, the greatest wisdom lay in drinking, eating, sleeping and loving.

All the Ups & Downs

From my apprentice days, I've retained a mason's habits.
I'm like those artists of the Renaissance : they were craftsmen
and not fine gentlemen.

Auguste Rodin

Rodin, a life 1840-1917

Your Rodin