Analysis Of Rodin's The Thought

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I chose Auguste Rodin’s The Thought as the artwork to write about in this paper. This paper will introduce the style, context, and subject of Rodin’s The Thought. Besides that, the paper will also demonstrate that although Rodin is considered as forerunner of modern sculpture, he didn’t reject elements of great artists of the past.
Auguste Rodin, an outstanding French sculptor. Rodin is generally considered as the pioneer of modern sculpture, though he did not reject the elements of antiquity, the Renaissance, and great artists of the past. Auguste Rodin was born into a working-class family on 12 November 1840 in Paris. Rodin’s father, Jean-Baptiste, who was an office staff working at a police office. Besides that, Jean-Baptiste was also a conservative and devout Christian. Probably due to Rodin’s short-sightedness, his academic career was ordinary. From 1854 to 1857, Rodin attended the special Imperial school of art and mathematics, which is the Petite Ecole. The main aim of the Petite Ecole was training professional artisans rather than artists. At the Petite Ecole, Rodin encountered the first person who had great influence on his latter art career, Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran, who based his teaching on observation of daily life and development of visual memory. Rodin expressed his appreciation to his teacher in 1913. The lesson that Rodin learned from his teacher might be the part of reasons that he preferred taking figures directly from living person and contemporary theme rather than following traditional representations of biblical and mythological subjects. In 1857, Rodin tried to enter the Beaux-art which is one of the most prestigious art school in France, he passed the drawing test but failed in sculpture. Rodin tried two more times in 1858 and 1859, and both attempts ended in failure. Due to the result of this frustration and pressure to make his living, at his eighteen, Rodin started his artistic career as a decorators and commercial sculptor about twenty years. During this period of time, Rodin had plenty of opportunities to apply knowledge that he had acquired at the Petite Ecole and to practice skills such as carving and modelling. The experience of working as an artisan enabled Rodin to master almost all skills that needed for a sculptor, which also made Rodin became a prolific artist. In 1875, Rodin made a trip to Italy. This trip had a profound influence on Rodin’s artistic development. In Italy, Rodin was deeply attracted by the work of Michelangelo and Donatello. After Rodin returned to Paris in 1877, he gradually stopped working as a commercial sculptor and started his independent composition. Rodin’s first major Sculpture which known as The Age of Bronze was initially criticized of having made the sculpture by molding it from a live model. Finally, his reputation was restored, and the statue was bought by the French government. The same thing also happened to his second sculpture, the walking state of Saint John the...

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