Review – Rodin: A biography
Reading this biography is like studying the who’s who of French and international turn-of-the-20th-century influencers. In art, literature, politics, journalism and education. While Rodin started out his life in poverty, his discovery of his love for sculpture would bring him both great joy and great rejection. Denied access to the hallowed halls of the Paris Salon, this was a sculptor with whom many aspiring artists and writers can identify. Despite prodigious talent, his name was only established in his early 40s. Yet from then on his path was associated with many great names: Victor Hugo, Guy de Maupassant, Camille Claudel, Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, Oscar Wilde, Emil Zola, Monet, Rainer Maria Rilke and Georges Clemenceau, among others.
The book is not dry either. How can it be with a man so obsessed with the female form, and the many women in his life who modelled for him?
Although the 738 pages may be intimidating, this biography is not only a detailed account of an exceptional life but also exceptional times.
I highly recommend it.
Are there any other biographies on artists you’d recommend? I’d love to hear!