Auguste Rodin was not only the greatest sculptor—known for such works as The Thinker, The Kiss, The Hand of God, and dozens of others—but also one of the most remarkable personalities of modern times. He was an artist who outraged contemporaries with his disturbingly unfinished monuments, a sensualist who shocked France with his scandalous relationships, and a friend to the most gifted writers and artists of his day. Frederic V. Grunfeld’s exhaustive biography documents a lifetime of both artistic and personal struggle—against poverty, against the conservative Paris Salon, and against an art establishment that for years denied him recognition.
Rodin’s crucial love affair with his pupil Camille Claudel emerges here in all its tragic complexity, as do his relationships with the British painter Gwen John and the American-born duchess Claire de Choiseul. Grunfeld also sheds new light on Rodin’s friendships with such figures as Robert Louis Stevenson, George Bernard Shaw, Émile Zola, and James McNeill Whistler.
Beautifully written, Rodin is the definitive biography of a man whose influence on sculpture was as profound as Michelangelo’s.
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