Frasi di Auguste Rodin

Auguste Rodin photo
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Auguste Rodin

Data di nascita: 12. Novembre 1840
Data di morte: 17. Novembre 1917

François-Auguste-René Rodin è stato uno scultore e pittore francese.

Sebbene Rodin sia universalmente considerato il progenitore della scultura moderna, l'artista non decise deliberatamente di ribellarsi contro lo stile precedente. Fece studi tradizionali, ebbe un approccio al suo lavoro umile e simile a quello di un artigiano e desiderò a lungo il riconoscimento da parte del mondo accademico, nonostante non sia mai stato accettato nelle più importanti scuole d'arte parigine.

Rodin ebbe una capacità unica di plasmare l'argilla creando superfici complesse, vigorose e profonde. Molte delle sue opere più famose alla sua epoca furono diffusamente criticate in quanto si scontravano con la tradizione scultorea figurativa dominante, secondo la quale le opere dovevano essere decorative, stereotipate o strettamente riferibili a tematiche conosciute. La grande originalità del lavoro di Rodin sta nell'essere partito dai temi mitologici e allegorici tradizionali per modellare le figure umane con realismo esaltando il carattere e la fisicità dell'individuo. Rodin fu consapevole delle polemiche che i suoi lavori suscitavano ma rifiutò di cambiare stile. Le opere successive finirono per incontrare maggiormente il favore sia del governo che della comunità artistica.

Partendo dall'innovativo realismo della sua prima grande scultura - ispirata da un viaggio in Italia che fece nel 1875 - fino ai monumenti in stile non convenzionale per i quali ottenne in seguito commissioni, la fama di Rodin crebbe sempre più e finì per diventare il più importante scultore francese della sua epoca. Con l'arrivo del XX secolo era ormai un artista apprezzato in tutto il mondo. Dopo la mostra che allestì all'Esposizione universale del 1900 facoltosi committenti si contesero le sue opere e Rodin frequentò molti artisti e intellettuali di alto profilo. In quello che sarebbe stato l'ultimo anno della vita di entrambi sposò la sua storica compagna Rose Beuret. Dopo la sua morte, sopraggiunta nel 1917, le sue sculture soffrirono un breve declino di popolarità ma in pochi decenni la sua reputazione e la sua eredità artistica tornarono a consolidarsi. Rodin rimane uno dei pochi scultori ampiamente noti e conosciuti anche al di fuori della ristretta cerchia della comunità artistica. Wikipedia

Foto: Nadar, scansione da cartolina / Public domain

Frasi Auguste Rodin

„Quando parlo di cattedrali penso a tutti i paesi di Francia oggi; penso al genio dei nostri avi, penso alla bellezza delle donne del presente e del passato.“

—  Auguste Rodin

Origine: Citato in Cesare De Seta, Rodin, l’erotismo delle cattedrali https://rep.repubblica.it/pwa/generale/2018/01/16/news/rodin_l_erotismo_delle_cattedrali-186644738/, Rep.repubblica.it, 17 gennaio 2018.

„The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live. Be a man before being an artist.“

—  Auguste Rodin

Attributed to Rodin in H. Read (1964), as cited in: Karl H. Pfenninger, ‎Valerie R. Shubik, ‎Bruce Adolphe (2001). The Origins of Creativity. p. 50
1950s-1990s

„The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation.“

—  Auguste Rodin

Attributed to Rodin in: Southwestern Art Vol. 6 (1977). p. 20; Partly cited in: A Toolbox for Humanity: More Than 9000 Years of Thought (2004) by Lloyd Albert Johnson, p. 7
1950s-1990s
Contesto: The artist must learn the difference between the appearance of an object and the interpretation of this object through his medium. The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation.

„I invent nothing, I rediscover.“

—  Auguste Rodin

Origine: Auguste Rodin: The Man, His Ideas, His Works, 1905, p. 60-61
Alternative translation:
I invent nothing, I rediscover. And the thing seems new because people have generally lost sight of the aim and the means of art ; they take that for an innovation which is nothing but a return to the laws of the great sculpture of long ago. Obviously, I think ; I like certain symbols, I see things in a synthetic way, but it is nature that gives me all that. I do not imitate the Greeks ; I try to put myself in the state of mind of the men who have left us the statues of antiquity. The schools copy their works, but what is of importance is to rediscover their methods. First I made close studies after nature, like "The Bronze Age." Later I understood that art required more breadth — exaggeration, in fact, and my aim was then, after the Burghers of Calais to find ways of exaggerating logically — that is to say, by reasonable amplification of the modeling. That, also consists in the constant reduction of the face to a geometrical figure, and the resolve to sacrifice every part of the face to the synthesis of its aspect. Look what they did in Gothic times. Take the Cathedral of Chartres as an example: one of its towers is massive and without ornamentation, having been neglected in order that the exquisite delicacy of the other could be better seen.
In: Andrew Carnduff Ritchie, ‎John Rewald (1945). Aristide Maillol: With an Introduction and Survey of the Artist's Work in American Collections. p. 19
Contesto: I invent nothing, I rediscover. And the thing seems new because people have generally lost sight of the aim and the means of art; they take that for an innovation which is nothing but a return to the laws of the great sculpture of long ago. Obviously, I think; I like certain symbols, I see things in a synthetic way, but it is nature that gives me all that. I do not imitate the Greeks; I try to put myself in the spiritual State of the men who hâve left us the antique statues. The 'Ecole' copies their works; the thing that signifies is to recover their method. I began by showing close studies from nature like The Age of Brass. Afterwards I came to understand that art required a little more largeness, a little exaggeration, and my whole aim, from the time of the Burghers, was to find a method of exaggerating logically : that method consists in the deliberate amplification of the modelling. It consists also in the constant reduction of the figure to a geometrical figure, and in the determination to sacrifice any part of a figure to the synthesis of its aspect. See what the Gothic sculptors did. Look at the cathedra! of Chartres; one of the towers is massive and without ornament : they sacrificed it to give value to the exquisite delicacy of the other tower.

„Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and which there divines the spirit by which Nature herself is animated.“

—  Auguste Rodin

Origine: Art, 1912, Preface, p. 7-8
Contesto: Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and which there divines the spirit by which Nature herself is animated. It is the joy of the intellect which sees clearly into the Universe and which recreates it, with conscientious vision. Art is the most sublime mission of man, since it is the expression of thought seeking to understand the world and to make it understood.

„In art, immorality cannot exist. Art is always sacred“

—  Auguste Rodin

Albert Edward Elsen (1985). The Gates of Hell by Auguste Rodin. p. 131
1950s-1990s
Contesto: In art, immorality cannot exist. Art is always sacred even when it takes for a subject the worst excesses of desire; since it has in view only the sincerity of observation, it cannot debase itself. A true work of art is always noble, even when it translates the stirrings of the brute, for at that moment, the artist who has produced it had as his only objective, the most conscientious rendering possible of the impression he has felt.

„To produce good sculpture it is not necessary to copy the works of antiquity; it is necessary first of all to regard the works of nature, and to see in those of the classics only the method by which they have interpreted nature.“

—  Auguste Rodin

Attributed to Auguste Rodin by Isadora Duncan, As quoted in Modern Dancing and Dancers (1912) by John Ernest Crawford Flitch, p. 105.
1900s-1940s

„I know very well that one must fight, for one is often in contradiction to the spirit of the age.“

—  Auguste Rodin

As quoted in "Rodin freed human spirit" in The Des Moines Register (7 January 2007) http://www.dmregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070107/ENT01/701070305
21st century

„I am not a rhetorician, but a man of action.“

—  Auguste Rodin

Origine: Rodin : the man and his art, with leaves from his notebook, 1917, p. 105

„Barye… did not teach us much; he was always worried and tired when he came, and always told us that it was very good.“

—  Auguste Rodin

Origine: Auguste Rodin: The Man, His Ideas, His Works, 1905, p. 2 About Barye's drawing classes at the Jardin des Plantes.

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