Capturing the model

18 November 2011 to 1st April 2012

Rodin 300 drawings 1890-1917

We know Rodin the sculptor, but do we know Rodin the creator of drawings?
This exhibition spectacularly presents a collection of 300 drawings of his last thirty years. During the last part of his life, drawing was the artist’s predominant form of expression. 

Femme nue dans ses voiles

Auguste Rodin
Femme nue dans ses voiles

© Musée Rodin - Photo : Jean de Calan

At over 60, Rodin embarked upon a true career as a drawer.  He had always drawn, but the drawings that date from after 1890 can be considered the last manifestation of his genius. Drawing every day from a live model, his passion resulted in a collection of nearly 7,000 pages, brought together almost in its entirety at the Musée Rodin.  Starting in 1903, the museum organized several exhibitions devoted exclusively to the body of his works in drawing.  The Musée Rodin’s ambition is to reconnect with the richness and the breadth of these exhibitions, allowing the public to discover this little-known aspect of his talent.

Through the reconstitution of the major identifiable series (little drawings in ink and watercolor from the years 1890-1895; the Psyches; the Women in Peignoir; the Cambodian Dancers; the shaped and shaded drawings of around 1910; the last drawings, splashed with color, to name just a few), certain themes and characteristics of the artist’s drawings are explored, such as the practice of drawing and the importance of the form that is changed, corrected, erased, cut up, folded in two; the mastery of the continuous and synthetic line; the relationship of body to space; and, finally, the femme fatal or the sexual bodies.

The proposed sequence of the exhibition will end with Rodin’s final drawings, which demonstrate the extraordinary tension the artist introduced between the naturalism of a drawing, capturing a gesture, a movement in all its immediacy, and the increasing independence of line and color.  Rodin’s freedom in drawing contributed to opening an immense space for the artists of the 20th century. The true mission of the exhibition is to make the viewer sense this liberty.

On the occasion of this exhibition, the museum will also present a selection of works drawn by the artist Paul-Armand Gette, whose set of themes surrounding the feminine body echo Rodin’s drawings, on the first floor of the Hôtel Biron.

General Commissioner of the exhibition: Dominique Viéville, General Curator of Cultural Heritage, Director of the musée Rodin
Commissioner of the exhibition
: Nadine Lehni, Chief Curator of Cultural Heritage of the Musée Rodin  

Catalogue Rodin 300 dessins 1890-1917, joint publication with Editions Nicolas Chaudun, 256 pp., 39 euros
in French and in English
Lecture visits
every Sunday at 3:00 PM
for teachers
8 and 9 March 2012

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