The Effect of Auguste Rodin’s Work on Modern Day Sculpture

At the age of 17, Auguste Rodin made an application to gain entry into the prestigious French school of art, Grand Ecole, but he was denied the chance. He tried again two more times and failed. The young French sculptor settled for a job with Ernest Carrier Belleuse as a roof, doorway and staircase decoration designer after his first sculpture got accepted for an exhibition in 1864. Years later, Rodin carved his artistic prowess into an ingenious and creative force which has had an effect on modern day sculptors across the world.Freedom of Imagination and CreativityAuguste Rodin had by the start of the 20th century established his place as a titan of sculpture alongside those who influenced him during his formative career years such as Michaelangelo. Like Michaelangelo for instance, he left some of his works with unfinished parts, but unlike his Italian predecessor, for whom he shows admiration in works such as The Thinker, he had little interest in the traditional sculpture academics.His rebellious standpoint made him exceptional in art exhibitions, setting in a new era in which sculptors are able to make carvings inspired by the power of limitless imagination. Rodin’s masterpiece works such as The Age of Bronze was for example not accepted in artistic terms until the 1960s because of the physical realism the statue projects.Sculptors with Rodin’s TouchFrench sculptor Charles Despiau bounced into the art scene in 1930s with sculptures whose pastoral, dream-like imageries and voluptuous nudity borrowed from Rodin’s touch. Similar to Rodin’s works, Despiau’s carvings combined a mixture of realism and modern day abstract values fused at the nerve of complex characters whose lives and emotions he had learnt to freeze for current and future generations as an apprentice in Auguste Rodin’s workshop.Aristide Maillol’s works such as The Night, Air and The Riviere are notable carvings that also show the effect of Auguste Rodin on modern day sculptors. Many believe that Maillol might have stuck to painting, for which he was also renowned, if it were not for the artistic inspiration Rodin’s works spewed on him.Letters of appreciation from sculptors such as Antoine Bourdelle and Galerie Georges Petit, who worked with Rodin between 1856 and 1920, is a show of the artiste’s influence.Bourdelle’s sculptures can today be found in the U.S, Japan and British museums. A number of art analysts agree that through Bourdelle, Rodin is successful in spreading his carving techniques to various parts of the world. In his letters to sculptors who studied the art under his tutelage such as Alfredo Bigatti of Argentina, Alberto Giacometti of Switzland, Bror Hjorth of Sweden and Mladen Josic of Serbia, Bourdelle makes references of the valuable experience he achieved under Rodin’s wings.Legendary sculptures by Auguste Rodin will continue to inspire sculptors globally because nearly all major museums in the world are home to his works. His knowledge of rendering human beings’ bodies is to date celebrated within modern sculptors’ court of experts as an achievement beyond rivaling in any aspect. This makes his contribution to modern art a matter of marvel whose star will shine for ages to come.

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