Rodin lived in his own personal version of ancient Greece, both figuratively and literally - amongst his selected ancient pieces assembled and laid out in his garden at Meudon. He never visited the real Greece. Yet, in particular inspired by the Greek exhibits in the British Museum, he constructed a world, in which he felt he communicated with the 5th century BCE sculptor of the Parthenon, Pheidias. Whilst I am not convinced by certain of Rodin’s ideas, such as his opposition to reconstruction of the Parthenon after an earthquake in 1849 - he respected the ravages of time whereas I would say these do not show the work as the artist intended, nevertheless the radical, twisting, visceral emotion and raw power which Rodin manages to convey in his work is sublime.
Set in his haunt and inspiration of the British Museum, this exhibition ‘Rodin and the art of ancient Greece’ reveals the dialogue between ancient Greek art and modern Expressionism.
Last chance to catch it before it closes 29th July, this week!
Auguste Rodin, figure from the highly emotive ‘Monument to the Burghers of Calais’, 1889
Auguste Rodin, the playful sensuality of ‘Galatea in a cast of an ancient Boeotian cup’, after 1895
Auguste Rodin, the delicacy of ‘Niobe’, after 1900
Pheidias, stunning, monumental draped folds in stone of ‘Rising Goddess, Figure K from the east pediment of the Parthenon’, c.438-432 BCE