22 Facts About Auguste Rodin


Auguste Rodin's sculptures suffered a decline in popularity after his death in 1917, but within a few decades his legacy solidified.

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Auguste Rodin was born in 1840 into a working-class family in Paris, the second child of Marie Cheffer and Jean-Baptiste Auguste Rodin, who was a police department clerk.

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In 1857, Auguste Rodin submitted a clay model of a companion to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in an attempt to win entrance; he did not succeed, and two further applications were denied.

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Auguste Rodin left the Petite Ecole in 1857 and earned a living as a craftsman and ornamenter for most of the next two decades, producing decorative objects and architectural embellishments.

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In 1864, Auguste Rodin began to live with a young seamstress named Rose Beuret was born on in June 1844, and with whom he stayed for the rest of his life, with varying commitment.

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Auguste Rodin worked as Carrier-Belleuse' chief assistant until 1870, designing roof decorations and staircase and doorway embellishments.

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In 1883, Auguste Rodin agreed to supervise a course for sculptor Alfred Boucher in his absence, where he met the 18-year-old Camille Claudel.

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In 1864, Auguste Rodin submitted his first sculpture for exhibition, The Man with the Broken Nose, to the Paris Salon.

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Auguste Rodin began the project in 1884, inspired by the chronicles of the siege by Jean Froissart.

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The society commissioned Auguste Rodin to create the memorial in 1891, and Auguste Rodin spent years developing the concept for his sculpture.

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Auguste Rodin's first sculpture was a bust of his father in 1860, and he produced at least 56 portraits between 1877 and his death in 1917.

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Later, with his reputation established, Auguste Rodin made busts of prominent contemporaries such as English politician George Wyndham, Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw (1906), socialist (and former mistress of the Prince of Wales who became King Edward VII) Countess of Warwick (1908), Austrian composer Gustav Mahler (1909), former Argentine president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and French statesman Georges Clemenceau (1911).

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Auguste Rodin's undated drawing Study of a Woman Nude, Standing, Arms Raised, Hands Crossed Above Head is one of the works seized in 2012 from the collection of Cornelius Gurlitt.

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Auguste Rodin and Beuret's modest country estate in Meudon, purchased in 1897, was a host to such guests as King Edward, dancer Isadora Duncan, and harpsichordist Wanda Landowska.

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Auguste Rodin moved to the city in 1908, renting the main floor of the Hotel Biron, an 18th-century townhouse.

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When Hallowell moved to Paris in 1893, she and Auguste Rodin continued their warm friendship and correspondence, which lasted to the end of the sculptor's life.

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In 1903, Auguste Rodin was elected president of the International Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers.

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Auguste Rodin met American dancer Isadora Duncan in 1900, attempted to seduce her, and the next year sketched studies of her and her students.

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In July 1906, Auguste Rodin was enchanted by dancers from the Royal Ballet of Cambodia, and produced some of his most famous drawings from the experience.

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In 1923, Marcell Tirel, Auguste Rodin's secretary, published a book alleging that Auguste Rodin's death was largely due to cold, and the fact that he had no heat at Meudon.

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Since the 1950s, Auguste Rodin's reputation has re-ascended; he is recognized as the most important sculptor of the modern era, and has been the subject of much scholarly work.

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Auguste Rodin fought against forgeries of his works as early as 1901, and since his death, many cases of organized, large-scale forgeries have been revealed.

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