01 March 2007

Visiting Rodin

Zurich's Kunsthaus (Fine Arts Museum) is the proud owner of one of the eight casts of "The Gates of Hell," a monumental sculpture based upon Dante's The Divine Comedy.

Sculpted by Auguste Rodin, the work includes "The Thinker" and "The Kiss," two of Rodin's most widely recognized works.

The piece, which has been part of the museum's collection since 1947, was recently restored. After a limited tour of Europe, in collaboration with the Musée Rodin in Paris and London's Royal Academy of Arts, it has returned to Zürich. An exhibition including additional works loaned by the Paris and London museums will be at the Kunsthaus until 13 May.

I highly recommend you find some time to visit the exhibit before the loaned parts are sent back to their museums.

At the invitation of a friend in Zürich, we had a Ladies' Lunch followed by a visit to the museum yesterday afternoon.

Here are 5 facts I did not know about Rodin before I went...

  1. "The Thinker," originally entitled "The Poet," was modelled on Dante.
  2. Rodin applied, and was rejected, to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris three times. He studied at la Petite Ecole.
  3. His work, The Age of Bronze, caused a scandal when it was first exhibited. It was wrongly thought to have been cast from a living model.
  4. Rainer Maria Rilke was Rodin's secretary for 7 months.
  5. Although he had many mistresses throughout his lifetime, Rose Beuret remained faithful to him from 1864, when she was 20 years old, until her death in 1917. They had a son together. He married her two weeks before she died.

By the way, I had to "steal" the photo of "The Thinker" featured above from the Kunsthaus website. The Kunsthaus is yet another museum in Zürich that does not allow photography...


Ms Mac said...

Ooooh, I will have to make a date with my James to see this before it disappears. He was most disappointed not to find The Thinker in the Louvre. Who knew my boy would turn out cultured?

The Big Finn said...

I saw "Le Penseur" at Musée Rodin (written in French just as an excuse to use my ´ mark!) in Paris. That Rodin...he sure got a lot of mileage out of "The Thinker", didn't he? I mean...eight casts. Wow!