Auguste Rodin is considered to be one of the greatest artists of all times, as well as the greatest sculptor of the 19th- and 20th-century. The artist left his studio in Paris, the Hôtel Biron, in his will to the French State, now known as the Musée Rodin, housing the largest collection of his work as a sculptor and draughtsman. The artist’s work is represented in major Museums and important private collections throughout the world. Rodin’s will expressed his desire that the French State kept editing the bronze casts of his works, contributing to the gravity of his legacy.
Born in Paris in 1840, Rodin studied drawing at the Petite École together with fellow sculptor and friend Aimé-Jules Dalou. He moved to Belgium at the age of 24, struggling to find work in the French capital, and joined the atelier of Carrier-Belleuse.
A trip to Florence in 1875 and the encounter with Michelangelo’s works represented a turning point in his career. Upon his return, Rodin conceived and presented the infamous sculpture The Age of Bronze at the Paris Salon. Initially rejected by the judges as being a cast of an actual person, the work was eventually accepted, marking the beginning of the artist’s fame, which grew exponentially until his death in 1917. Among the Rodin’s most famous works are The Kiss, The Thinker and Eternal Spring – all conceived for his lifetime-project of the Gates of Hell – a massive set of doors originally planned for the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris but never delivered by the artist. His major public monuments include The Burghers of Calais, The Monument to Balzac and The Monument to Victor Hugo.