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Auguste Rodin

Date de naissance: 12. novembre 1840
Date de décès: 17. novembre 1917

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Auguste Rodin , né à Paris le 12 novembre 1840, et mort à Meudon, le 17 novembre 1917, est l'un des plus importants sculpteurs français de la seconde moitié du XIXe siècle, considéré comme un des pères de la sculpture moderne.

Héritier des siècles d'humanisme, l'art réaliste de Rodin est un aboutissement, croisement de romantisme et d'impressionnisme dont la sculpture est modelée par la lutte entre la forme et la lumière.

La virilité de l'artiste, surnommé en son temps le « Bouc sacré », provoqua des drames semi-publics ou privés et est au centre d'une expression plastique de la sensualité, de l'érotisme, mais aussi de la douleur.

Par sa capacité de travail et d'organisation, Rodin laisse une œuvre hors norme.

Citations Auguste Rodin

„In art, immorality cannot exist. Art is always sacred“

— Auguste Rodin
Context: In art, immorality cannot exist. Art is always sacred even when it takes for a subject the worst excesses of desire; since it has in view only the sincerity of observation, it cannot debase itself. A true work of art is always noble, even when it translates the stirrings of the brute, for at that moment, the artist who has produced it had as his only objective, the most conscientious rendering possible of the impression he has felt. Albert Edward Elsen (1985). The Gates of Hell by Auguste Rodin. p. 131

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„Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and which there divines the spirit by which Nature herself is animated.“

— Auguste Rodin
Context: Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and which there divines the spirit by which Nature herself is animated. It is the joy of the intellect which sees clearly into the Universe and which recreates it, with conscientious vision. Art is the most sublime mission of man, since it is the expression of thought seeking to understand the world and to make it understood. p. 7-8

„I invent nothing, I rediscover.“

— Auguste Rodin
Context: I invent nothing, I rediscover. And the thing seems new because people have generally lost sight of the aim and the means of art; they take that for an innovation which is nothing but a return to the laws of the great sculpture of long ago. Obviously, I think; I like certain symbols, I see things in a synthetic way, but it is nature that gives me all that. I do not imitate the Greeks; I try to put myself in the spiritual State of the men who hâve left us the antique statues. The 'Ecole' copies their works; the thing that signifies is to recover their method. I began by showing close studies from nature like The Age of Brass. Afterwards I came to understand that art required a little more largeness, a little exaggeration, and my whole aim, from the time of the Burghers, was to find a method of exaggerating logically : that method consists in the deliberate amplification of the modelling. It consists also in the constant reduction of the figure to a geometrical figure, and in the determination to sacrifice any part of a figure to the synthesis of its aspect. See what the Gothic sculptors did. Look at the cathedra! of Chartres; one of the towers is massive and without ornament : they sacrificed it to give value to the exquisite delicacy of the other tower. p. 60-61 Alternative translation: I invent nothing, I rediscover. And the thing seems new because people have generally lost sight of the aim and the means of art ; they take that for an innovation which is nothing but a return to the laws of the great sculpture of long ago. Obviously, I think ; I like certain symbols, I see things in a synthetic way, but it is nature that gives me all that. I do not imitate the Greeks ; I try to put myself in the state of mind of the men who have left us the statues of antiquity. The schools copy their works, but what is of importance is to rediscover their methods. First I made close studies after nature, like "The Bronze Age." Later I understood that art required more breadth — exaggeration, in fact, and my aim was then, after the Burghers of Calais to find ways of exaggerating logically — that is to say, by reasonable amplification of the modeling. That, also consists in the constant reduction of the face to a geometrical figure, and the resolve to sacrifice every part of the face to the synthesis of its aspect. Look what they did in Gothic times. Take the Cathedral of Chartres as an example: one of its towers is massive and without ornamentation, having been neglected in order that the exquisite delicacy of the other could be better seen. In: Andrew Carnduff Ritchie, ‎John Rewald (1945). Aristide Maillol: With an Introduction and Survey of the Artist's Work in American Collections. p. 19

„The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation.“

— Auguste Rodin
Context: The artist must learn the difference between the appearance of an object and the interpretation of this object through his medium. The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation. Attributed to Rodin in: Southwestern Art Vol. 6 (1977). p. 20; Partly cited in: A Toolbox for Humanity: More Than 9000 Years of Thought (2004) by Lloyd Albert Johnson, p. 7

„I know very well that one must fight, for one is often in contradiction to the spirit of the age.“

— Auguste Rodin
As quoted in [http://www.dmregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070107/ENT01/701070305 "Rodin freed human spirit" in The Des Moines Register (7 January 2007)]

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„Then I gathered the éléments of what people call my symbolism. I do not understand anything about long words and theories. But I am willing to be a symbolist, if that defines the ideas that Michael Angelo gave me, namely that the essence of sculpture is the modelling, the general scheme which alone enables us to render the intensity, the supple variety of movement and character. If we can imagine the thought of God in creating the world, He thought first of the construction, which is the sole principle of nature, of living things and perhaps of the planets. Michael Angelo seems to me rather to derive from Donatello than from the ancients; Raphaël proceeds from them. He understood that an architecture can be built up with the human body, and that, in order to possess volume and harmony, a statue or a group ought to be contained in a cube, a pyramid or some simple figure. Let us look at a Dutch interior and at an interior painted by an artist of the present day. The latter no longer touches us, because it docs not possess the qualities of depth and volume, the science of distances. The artist who paints it does not know how to reproduce a cube. An interior by Van der Meer is a cubic painting. The atmosphere is in it and the exact volume of the objects; the place of these objects has been respected, the modem painter places them, arranges them as models. The Dutchmen did not touch them, but set themselves to render the distances that separated them, that is, the depth. And then, if I go so far as to say that cubic truth, not appearance, is the mistress of things, if I add that the sight of the plains and woods and country views gives me the principle of the plans that I employ on my statues, that I feel cubic truth everywhere, and that plan and volume appear to me as laws of all life and ail beauty, will it be said that I am a symbolist, that I generalise, that I am a metaphysician? It seems to me that I have remained a sculptor and a realist. Unity oppresses and haunts me.“

— Auguste Rodin
p. 65-67

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