H. de Roos - The critique of the toronto exhibition



Another reason the complaints about the damaged Maclaren plasters contain a good portion of hypocrisy ist that Rodin himself accepted accidents as part of the course of events shaping his work. This fitted his romantic view of life and art. A little anecdote:

(Rodin) loved richly colored, eventful patinas, even valuing the dropping of the birds which perched on his sculptures when displayed out of doors. When Rodin and Paul Gsell saw a cast of the Thinker (..) which was destined for America left out on the open air, Rodin remarked: "The rain water brings out the parts in relief by oxydizing them, while the dust and dirt, lodging in the hollows, accentuate the depth... It is not only due to the familiarities of the birds that bronzes and marbles left in the open air gain their rich patinas."

 [Paul Gsell, LīArt et les Artistes, p. 60, quoted by Tancock, p. 33]

So if Rodin would allow the rain, the dust, the dirt and even natural guano to contribute to the appearance of his brand new Thinker statue, what is so scandalous then about the traces of piece mould and other residues of the casting process on these foundry plasters? Patricia Sanders indicates, Rodin appreciated the lively surface of bronze casts caused by such traces:

Most sculptors in Rodinīs day demanded that such flaws (like flanges left by seeping bronze) be removed to the point that the bronze surface was perfectly smooth, but Rodin preferred to leave evidences of the casting process, such as traces of piece mold, realizing the greater liveliness of surface that this effected.

[Patricia Sanders, Notes on Rodinīs technique, in: De Caso, p. 30]

When this goes for the bronzes, why should it not go for the plasters?




Advanced Search and Search Rules

Advanced Search & Search Rules

Terms of Use  Copyright Policy    Menu missing?  Back one page  Reload this page   Top of this page 

Notice: Museum logos appear only as buttons linking to Museum Websites and do not imply any
formal approval of RODIN-WEB pages by these institutions. For details see Copyright Policy.
Đ Copyright 1992 - September 2003 for data collection & design by Hans de Roos - All Rights Reserved.
Last update of this page: 17.09.2003