Art in 5: Auguste Rodin

“The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.” –– Auguste Rodin

Hello, it’s Erika from small shop with the second installment of my new “Art in 5” column! This month I decided to focus on the most well-known sculptor in modern history, Auguste Rodin. You most likely have heard of him — and have even seen in person one of his 28 “The Thinker” statues around the world — but you may not know much else about him. You may even see his work around and immediately think “classical sculpture” but not realize that he was actually considered very avant-garde and non-traditional for his time. Here are a few quick bits about why that may have been:
Some of his beautiful work:
Mignon” 1869 (modeled after his longtime companion and eventual wife, Rose Beuret)
“The Shade” 1880
“The Thinker” 1880
“Eternal Springtime” 1884
“Danaïd” 1885 (modeled after his assistant and lover, Camille Claudel)
“Faun and Nymph” 1886
“Orpheus and Eurydice” 1892
“Draped Torso of the Age of Bronze” 1895
“Pygmalion and Galatea” 1908
“The Cathedral” 1908
Which is your favorite? Have you seen his work in person?
Images via
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  1. The Carlos slim museo in Mexico City had dozens of his sculptures, including the Thinker. The work was beautiful and close enough to finally appreciate. I always thought it difficult to appreciate the intricacies from 20+ feet away like in most museums!

  2. @Karena, I totally agree and I love the way Erika is presenting these overviews of great artists for us in small, digestible bites.

    @Mica, thanks for sharing that tidbit. I have been dying to go to Mexico City and have heard the Carlos Slim museum is spectacular. Did you feel safe while you were visiting the city? For the longest time, Mexico City had a reputation for being awfully dangerous, but it seems the tide is turning and it is now a destination for the chic jet set.

  3. Thanks Erika! I love this series, and absolutely love Rodin. We went to Paris about 14 years ago and included a stop at the Rodin museum. His work is amazing and pretty spectacular in person.

  4. We have been lucky enough to have a fab exhibit in Milan of his works! I recently wrote about this exhibit…or more specifically “The Kiss.” I never realized the couple was supposed to represent Francesca and Paolo from Dante’s “Inferno.” Anyway…I love Rodin…they have some lovely pieces at The Hermitage in St. Petersburg. And Camille Claudel. Does anyone remember that movie with Isabelle Adjani? Gosh! She was so gorgeous.

  5. Thank you SO much, Erika, for this post!

    We just went to Paris in October [my first visit] and we were able to spend the afternoon at the Musee de Rodin! It was just unbelievable to be surrounded by so much of his artwork! And… to read the abundant information in the museum about his life, etc. I was in HEAVEN!

    I posted about some of the artwork we saw while in Paris here:

    I included our visit to Rodin’s home.

    I love these posts, they efficiently perfect!

  6. Fun post! The Rodin Museum in Paris was my favorite museum there. Loved the quaint atmosphere and that it wasn’t as overwhelming/draining as the other big museums. I just love his work although some of it makes me quite sad when I think of poor Camille Claudel!

  7. There are quite a number of Rodin sculptures in a permanent collection at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC, including a small outdoor garden.