The Age of Bronze
Rodin was accused of casting the original of this sculpture from a live model - a scandalous act in 1877, when it was first produced.
The cast in Leeds dates from 1907 and is one of several to be found in public collection throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was made for two Yorkshire patrons - Gervase and Mabel Beckett - and achieved its distinctive patina through contact with local rain.
Auguste Rodin was born 12 November 1840 in Paris.
At 14 years old he attended a special school for drawing and mathematics, known as "la Petite Ecole" where he followed courses given by Lecocq de Boisbaudran and the painter Belloc.
He left "la Petit Ecole" and sought admission to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He was rejected three times.
Rodin worked for several decorators and ornamentalists.
In 1862 he was stricken by the death of his sister Maria. He withdrew to the Monastery of the Order of the Holy Sacrement, where he stayed until 1863.
While in Belgium, he participated in the decoration of the Palais des Academies in Brussels, painted a series of landscapes of the Soignes forest and made some lithographs to illustrate the satirical magazine Le Petit Comique.
Aged 35 Rodin travelled to Italy where he studied the work of Michelangelo.
In 1877 he exhibited The Bronze Age at the Cercle Artistique et Litteraire in Brussels, then the Salon des Artistes Francais in Paris. Rodin was accused of having cast his statue directly from life. In autumn, Rodin undertook his first tour of cathedrals in central France.
Article By: Dave Roberts.
First Published: 2007.
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