Auguste Rodin: Hands as a Mirror of the Soul

Auguste Rodin: Hands as a Mirror of the Soul

Auguste Rodin — Hand of Rodin Holding a Torso — 1916Auguste Rodin — Bourgeois de Calais — Philadelphia

From 4 February 2022, the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia presents an exhibition focusing on Auguste Rodin’s (1840–1917) interest in the form of human hands.

Source: Philadelphia Museum of Art. Images: Auguste Rodin, “Hand of Rodin Holding a Torso”, cast in 1917. Plaster, 15.9 x 22.9 x 9.5 cm. Image courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art ·· Auguste Rodin, “The Burghers of Calais”. Modelled 1884–1895; cast in bronze 1919–1921. 1,80 m x 1,80 m x 1,80 m. Image courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photograph by Constance Mensh.

In an era of great artists -from Impressionists such as Monet or Pissarro, Post-Impressionists such as Cézanne or Van Gogh, or Realists such as Ilya Repin- sculpture had no greater genius than Auguste Rodin (1840–1917), one of the indispensable figures in Western art, creator of such famous works as “The Thinker” or “The Burghers of Calais”.

The exhibition at the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia presents the idea that, for Rodin, hands could express emotions in a similar way to faces, which is why the artist attached fundamental importance to the representation of the hand, creating numerous studies of them, and often reusing in various works models with which he was satisfied. In the words of Jennifer Thompson, Curator of the John G. Johnson Collection and the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia: “Rodin’s sculptures of hands offer useful ways of understanding his practice and how he used this part of the body to convey emotion and tell stories”.

Several of the works in the exhibition may have been created by Rodin as studies (ultimately discarded) for his most complex work, the aforementioned “The Burghers of Calais”, going so far as to study unique medical specimens at the Musée Dupuytren in Paris. Specifically, the Philadelphia Museum of Art explains that scientists at Stanford University have indicated that the shapes of “The Closed Hand” coincide with the muscular contractions caused by Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. #2022 #AugusteRodin #theartwolf

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ART & the Art World (theartwolf)

ART & the Art World (theartwolf)

ART magazine aimed to offer an original & independent point of view about the Art World ▷ Its news, events, protagonists, glories and miseries.

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