AUGUSTE RODIN - his life, his work (2)


Young Lady with Flowerhat, 1865, terra-cottaWith Dalou, he works on the decoration of Hôtel de la Païva.

In his own studio, he works on 'Young Lady with Flower Hat' and the lifesize 'Bacchante' (destroyed), for which Rose Beuret was the model.


Auguste-Eugène Beuret is the first child of Rose and Auguste. In his first years of life, the child suffers a severe head injury when falling through a window, his mental faculties do not develop normally; thus he will never reach his father's artistic expectations. 
Rodin starts the bust of Mme Cruchet.


Charles Baudelaire dies at the age of 46.

Rose Beuret as Mignon


Rodin works on 'Mother and Child', 'Mignon'.


He executes the busts of Mr and Mrs Garnier. 
Beginning of the Franco-Prussian War: Rodin is enrolled in a pioneer unit in the national guards.


Rodin being shortsighted, he is declared as unfit for military duty and travels to Brussels together with Carrier-Belleuse in order to perform decorative work at the Palais de la Bourse.


Rose remains in Paris with their young son. Year of the Paris Commune. When Rodin's mother dies, Rose also takes care of Rodin's father.
In Brussels, Carrier-Belleuse does not appreciate Rodin's efforts to sell work under his own name and dismisses Rodin. On 16 May 1871 Carrier returns to Paris. 


Bust of Doctor Thiriard Rose follows Rodin to Brussels. Their son Auguste-Eugène and Rodin's father, who is getting blind and senile, are left in Paris in the care of Thérèse Dubois and her son Auguste Cheffer, son in law of Rodin's uncle Jaques-Alexandre Rodin.
Rose and Rodin live in a room at 346, Chaussée de Wavre in Etterbeek.
Rodin models 'Suzon' and 'Dosia'; the Compagnie des Bronzes purchases both works and casts them in large quantities.
Bust of 'Doktor Thiriard'.


Even if Rose and Auguste are still very poor, they enjoy living at Brussels. During extensive stays in the Bois de Soignes Rodin executes a few oil paintings. He also makes some lithographs to illustrate the satirical magazine Le Petit Comique.
Rodin moves to the Belgian sculptor Antoine van Rasbourg for whom he creates a number of sculptures in a manner close to Michelangelo. 
He takes part in a  few architectural projects: three caryatids for a house on the Boulevard Anspach, together with Van Rasbourg he executes the 'Allegory of the Arts and Sciences' for the Palais des Académies, two bas-reliefs for the Palais Royal, some figures for the Conservatory of Music and a monument for Jean-Francois Loos, the former mayor of Antwerp.


The model Auguste NeytTo make himself a name as an artist, he starts working on an uncommisioned standing figure, 'The Age of Bronze' after studies of a Belgian soldier named Auguste Neyt.
He departs to Italy – Torino, Genova, Pisa, Florence, Rome, Naples; Rose stays in Brussels; profound study of works of Michelangelo. 
After his return to Brussels he executes 'The Age of Bronze'. 
He destroys the outlines of 'Adam' and 'Ugolino with three sons' except for the bodies of the main figures.


In Brussels, Rodin exhibits 'The Age of Bronze' - which he calls 'The Conquered Man' - at the Cercle Artistique, afterwards at the Salon but without the lance in the left hand. At both occasions, it is suggested he has used plaster casts from life, the first 'Affaire Rodin'. In March, he travels to Paris to prepare the submission of the sculpture to the Salon and uses the studio of his friend Victor Tournier at 3 Rue des Bretonvillers on the Ile Saint-Louis. Although the 'Age of Bronze' is admitted to the Salon, Rodin has to learn that the rumours from Belgium have followed him to Paris. Rodin asks the chairman of the jury, Eugène Guillaume, director of the École des Beaux-Arts, for a chance to clear his reputation:

"Owing to these terrible doubts raised by the jury, I find myself robbed of the fruits of my labors. Contrary to what people think I did not cast my figure from the model but spent a year and a half on it; during that time my model came to the studio almost constantly. Moreover I have spent my savings working on my figure, which I had hoped would be as much of a success in Paris as it was in Belgium since the modeling seems good - it is only the procedure that has been attacked. How painful it is to find that my figure can be of no help to my future; how painful to see it rejected on account of a slanderous suspicion!"

His Belgian friends Félix Bouré and Gustave Biot contribute testimonies that they had watched Rodin work on his figure only from the living model. He also has photos made of Auguste Neyt and his sculpture, to demonstrate that the accusations raised in the Étoile Belge are false, but his evidence is completely ignored by the jury. The sculpture receives a positive response from other artists, though.
With Rose, Rodin returns to Paris for good. They live in a cheap appartement in the Rue Fossé St. Jaques, at the corner of the Rue Royer-Collard. His father and his son come to live with them. Later they will move to Nr. 268 in the same street.
Over the next three years, Rodin works for Carrier-Belleuse again, as an anonymous modeler for a minimal pay.
Studies of 'St. John the Baptist Preaching' in monumental size to avoid the accusation related to 'The Age of Bronze'. Later, Rodin explains to his friend Gsell how he created the suggestion of movement:

"(The sculptor) represents the transition from one pose to another - he indicates how insensibly the first glides into the second. In his work we still see a part of what was and we discover a part of what is to be. (..). St. John the Baptist Preaching Now, for example, while my Saint John is represented with both feet on the ground, it is probable that an instantaneous photograph from a model making the same movement would show the back feet already raised and carried forward to the other.(..) Now it is exactly for that reason that this model photographed would present the odd appearance of a man suddenly stricken with paralysis and petrified in his pose. (..) It is the artist who is truthful and it is photography which lies, for in reality time does not stop, and if the artist succeeds in producing the impression of a movement which takes several moments for accomplishment, his work is certainly much less conventional than the scientific image, where time is abruptly suspended."

Rodin meets Jules Desbois, to whom he keeps an intimate friendship.




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