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Auguste Rodin
Biographical Information

Birth Date:November 12, 1840
Astrology Sign:Scorpio
Chinese Sign: -
Birth Name:François-Auguste-René Rodin
Birth Place:Paris, France
Died Date:November 17, 1917

Occupation:French sculptor

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Auguste Rodin

Biography:Auguste Rodin (November 12, 1840 - November 17, 1917) was a French sculptor.

Born François-Auguste-René Rodin, to a working class family in Paris, he is often given a pivotal role in the history of modern sculpture, as both excelling at and rebelling from the Beaux-arts tradition. His unique, virtuoso ability to organize a complex, turbulent, deeply pocketed surface set him apart from the figure sculpture traditions before and since his time.

Despite the talent evident in his portrait of the local priest who helped him discover his vocation, Rodin was denied admission to the Beaux Arts academy. He was accepted, however, at a trade school for decorative sculpture, and later moved to Belgium to work in a studio that produced that kind of work.

One of his early works, The Age of Bronze, created during his years in Belgium, looked so realistic that the sculptor was accused of surmoulage (taking plaster moulds from the live model).

Rodin struggled to clear his name and in 1880 was awarded the commission to create a portal for the planned Museum of Decorative Arts. Although the museum was never built, Rodin worked for 37 years on this monumental sculptural group, The Gates of Hell, depicting scenes from Dante's Inferno in high relief.

Many of his best-known sculptures, like The Thinker (Le Penseur, originally titled The Poet), representing the poet Dante), The Three Shades (Les Trois Ombres), and The Kiss (Le Baiser) were designed as figures for this monumental landscape of eternal passion and punishment, and only later presented as works in their own right. Other well-known works derived from The Gates are: the Ugolino group, Fugitive Love, The Falling Man, The Sirens, Fallen Caryatid Carrying her Stone, Damned Women, The Standing Fauness, The Kneeling Fauness, The Martyr, She Who Once Was the Beautiful Helmetmaker's Wife, Glaucus, Polyphem.

Through his method of marcottage, he used the same sculptural elements time and time again, under different names and in different combinations.

Instead of copying traditional academic postures, Rodin preferred to work with amateur models, street performers, acrobats, strong men and dancers. In his atelier, the models walked around freely while the sculptor made quick sketches in clay, which were later fine-tuned, cast in plaster, and forged into bronze or marble. Rodin was fascinated by dance and spontaneous movement; his John the Baptist shows a walking preacher, displaying two phases of the same stride simultaneously.

Rodin's personal life has captured the attention of history almost as much as his sculpture.

In 1883, Rodin agreed to supervise Alfred Boucher's sculpture course during his absence and so met the 18-year-old sculptress Camille Claudel. Rodin fell in love with his talented pupil, and Claudel recognized her chance to be tutored by the greatest sculptor talent of her time, who was just breaking through to fame. They became a creative and intimate couple. Claudel inspired Rodin as a model for many of his tragic love couples and assisted him during his work on another important commission, The Burghers of Calais (Les Bourgeois de Calais).

Although they shared an atelier at a small old castle (68 Boulevard d'Italie, Paris), Rodin refused to give up his ties with Rose Beuret, his loyal companion during his years of poverty in Belgium and mother of their son Auguste-Eugène Beuret, born January 18, 1866. He never fulfilled a contract with Claudel to give up all contact with other women, and marry her. After nearly 15 years, the couple parted. Claudel went her own artistic way, but found herself isolated.

Rodin, commissioned to create a Monument to Victor Hugo in the 1890s, dealt extensively with the subject of artist and muse, reflecting the various aspects of his stormy and complex relationship with Claudel in The Poet and Love, The Genius and Pity, The Sculptor and his Muse. Like many of Rodin's public commissions, the Monument to Victor Hugo met resistance because it did not fit conventional expectations. The 1897 plaster model was finally cast in bronze in 1964.

His Monument to Balzac, exhibited at the 1898 salon at the Champ des Mars showing the writer in his morning frock, was repudiated as well. After the frustrating experience, Rodin did not finish any public commissions. Instead, after 1903 he had his most successful works enlarged to monumental dimensions.

As France's best known artist, he had a large staff of pupils, craftsmen, and stone cutters working for him. He created a number of society portrait busts, especially for wealthy American collectors, and began presenting fragmentary sculptures, which in his opinion contained the essence of his artistic statement, like Meditation without Arms, Iris, Messenger of the Gods or The Walking Man.

During his last creative years, Rodin concentrated on small dance studies (ca. 1915), and produced numerous erotic drawings, sketched in a loose way, without taking his pencil from the paper or his eyes from the model. An exhibition of these drawings in Weimar in 1906 caused the so-called Kessler scandal, and Harry Count Kessler was dismissed as curator of the Weimar Museum.

On January 29, 1917, Rodin finally married Rose Beuret, who died two weeks later.

Auguste Rodin died on November 17, 1917. A cast of The Thinker was placed next to his tomb in Meudon, Île-de-France.

Achievements: (Filmography)
Gate of Hell (1954)

Personality and Character Cards:
Personality and character cards are identical!

Auguste Rodin's Personality Tarot Card The Hermit - Personality Card

Birthday: November 12, 1840

A time for soul searching and meditation; a need for patience and solitude.

This year's Growth Tarot Card
Based on this year's birthday

Auguste Rodin's Growth Tarot Card The Lovers

Birthday: November 12, 2017

A relationship or love affair with a trial or choice involved.




Portions of famous people database was used with permission from Russell Grant from his book The Book of Birthdays Copyright © 1999, All rights reserved. Certain biographical material and photos licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, from Wikipedia, which is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

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