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Tuesday, 24 November 2015 09:49

A Major Rodin Exhibition Opens in Virginia

An exhibition honoring the creative genius of master sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) is on display at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts through March 13, 2016. Drawn primarily from collections of the Musée Rodin, Paris, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the exhibition brings together more than 200 objects – fragile plasters, patinated bronzes, marbles, ceramics and works on paper – and examines the artist’s creative process. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about Rodin’s techniques, materials, models, and assistants, and to explore the artistic vision behind some of his best known works – including The Kiss, The Thinker, and The Burghers of Calais.

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The Rodin Museum in Paris is set to reopen on November 12 following a three year, €16 million ($17.4 million) renovation. The reopening coincides with what would have been Auguste Rodin's 175th birthday.

The French artist created some of the best-known sculptures in art history, including The Thinker (1902), The Burghers of Calais (1884-1889) and The Kiss (1882-1889).

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Sotheby’s will present three early bronzes from Auguste Rodin’s (1840-1917) pivotal The Gates of Hell at its Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale on May 7, 2013 in New York. The three casts are part of a renowned private collection and include a rare, early cast of The Thinker (1906), which is expected to garner anywhere from $8 million to $12 million.

The cast of The Thinker was made by the Alexis Rudier foundry in Paris and was commissioned directly from the artist by the publishing tycoon, Ralph Pulitzer. The sculpture features a plaque stating that it was made for Pulitzer under Rodin’s immediate supervision. The other casts included in the Impressionist and Modern Art auction are Rodin’s beloved The Kiss (1909) and Ugolino and His Children (1883), which was only cast three times during Rodin’s lifetime.

The Directorate of Fine Arts commissioned The Gates of Hell, which was inspired by Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, in 1880. The project was originally expected to take five years but Rodin spent 37 years working intermittently on what would become the defining sculpture of his career. While The Gates of Hell was never fully realized, many of Rodin’s most notable sculptures are related to the single and multi-figure works he created for the commission.

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