What a brilliant and talented artist. He ended up with assembly line type production of his pieces. Did you know about 300 bronzes of The Kiss exist? I guess he had to increase the output in order to be able to pay for the process.
He worked in clay, wax, plaster, bronze and marble. But it wasn’t always his hands. Sure, it all started in his noggin. But he had a full team of artists and artisans who did much of the work – the rote work and details – to allow him time to be creative and visionary. He even had a contraption to allow someone to scale up a model in clay. There’s a great article on the website of the Victoria and Albert museum in London. (The website is virtual…) (duh) http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/rodin-working-methods/
He was a very savvy businessman.
So of course you know about the Musee Rodin in the heart of Paris. It was recently closed for renovation for several years and reopened last fall. I love the place. And you will recall I have purchased tickets so I can drop in the gardens for an afternoon here and there.
Turns out he also had other places he made his art. In Meudon, just south west of Paris, he purchased a house and set up a studio. Small house. Big studio. Great view – would be better in the winter when the trees don’t have leaves.
On display were many of the plaster casts. So the guy was also brilliant – he saved the plaster casts and would reuse them – putting a foot or hand or arm onto a different torso… But the display case with the tiny arms and legs was a bit creepy.
I thought he was a great sculptor. Now I am totally in awe of him.
We got there on a bus, (through the Bois de Boulogne) (went by the Gehry Louis Vuitton Foundation Museum which strangely enough now has colored panels on its exterior… I don’t care for it), then a tram (like lite rail) and Uber. We came back via Uber, and two buses. The view from the bus is so interesting. And from the tram. A new goal for this year is to circumnavigate Paris by tram. The trams are almost like a business loop freeway but they don’t totally connect yet.
I highly recommend Marks & Spencer’s Mild Red Cheddar cheese. And with salted almonds. Tasty. I decided to blog in style this afternoon.
Thursday I met a friend at the d’Orsay for a conversation. And took time to wander through the latest exhibit – Le Dounaier Rosseau. We just call him Henri Rousseau – the Frenchies use his nickname. He was really a tax collector, not a customs officer, but that is the name that stuck.
The paintings were from everywhere, and many from the US. I am developing an appreciation of the curation of an exhibit. This one apparently started in Venice and traveled here. Who does that? Who gathers all these painting together and finds the right museum and makes all the arrangements? When you start to think about it, you realize that they must be preparing years in advance to bring these things off. And even if it is just for the one museum and doesn’t travel – just think about the decisions. What paintings to request from other museums? What paintings to take out of the permanent collections or the stored collections of the French museums? For the Bonnard last year, there were so many works that were loaned from the Pompidou and other Paris museums. (And that exhibit went on to Madrid and then SF – which I attended but I don’t believe it was all the same paintings… and laid out differently,) And then the whole question of what goes where? Who’s next to whom? In this Rousseau exhibit the curators had many works from other artists who impacted Rousseau or others who were influenced by him.
Imagine getting paid to do that?
As I wandered around seeking the spires (see last blog), I also stumbled upon the Formula E racetrack being set up around the Invalides. Grand Prix type cars but E as in Electrique!
Instead of heading over today for the race, I went to Meudon, a suburb just southwest of Paris to see Rodin’s other museum.
Easy to get to – a bus and then a tram (trams are similar to light rail in Sacto). And ok yes, after that an Uber. We could have walked but it was COLD today. Moved up the date because of chance of rain – well, strong possibility of rain – tomorrow. And I carried an umbrella anyway. After last Sunday when I ended up buying umbrella number 3…
How did Rodin do it? That’s another blog…