“I choose a block of marble and chop off whatever I don’t need.” Auguste Rodin
We went to Philadelphia for a wedding during the last week of June. In the time around the wedding events, my husband, Dick, and I explored the city on foot taking in artworks of all kinds. The first morning we were there we walked to the Rodin Museum after a quick stop at Federal Donuts. That’s a Smore’s donut I’m holding:
The walk over to the Rodin Museum was full of sights along the way, especially on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. I’ll share more about them in the Public Art post. The museum presents itself with a shaded patio and pillared facade in front of which sits the ever ponderous Thinker.
A walk up the gentle incline and around the facade and one encounters the incredibly impressive doorway surround The Gates of Hell, based on The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. The Thinker sits front and center over the door.
Once inside, the works are rich and diverse in their themes and are cast in bronze or carved from marble.
Either lush and sensuous:
Or tender and sensitive:
I had been to the Rodin Museum in 2002 and the object that stood out in my memory from that visit was the giant head of Balzac:
Some of my other favorites at the museum are the expressive hand sculptures:
(Although this one certainly reminds me of that scene in Carrie):
I really enjoyed this statue of Jules Bastien-Lepage. I love his palette and brush. I also can’t help wondering if this is the person after whom the glue was named (?):
Outside the museum stands a sculpture of The Three Shades. In Dante’s Divine Comedy, the shades, (the souls of the damned) stand at the entrance to Hell, pointing to an unequivocal inscription, “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here”. Originally created much smaller as part of the Gates of Hell doorway surround, Rodin made this larger model years later.
Rodin – The Three Shades from Gates of Hell – Modeled 1886; Cast 1928 – Bronze
This post is part one of a group of posts about my self-directed professional development in the summer of 2019. To see the others, search Summer Learning or 2019 Summer PD.