Page 3, 18th September 1959

18th September 1959
Page 3
Page 3, 18th September 1959 — G e
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G e

/ 8 / e (178). /

/ e /

0111110DIN was the most import-; lit ant impressionist sculptor.0 / g He spent his life studying the / / Ogreat masters and might, had heO g been a tamer kind of person g 0 altogether, merely have prog e 0 duced slicker, more suave imitations of the Greek or theg

i Italian Renaissance master-0 g ie pces. e 0 0 Instead, the impressionist/

gage had no more fiery genius, / g and no more original thinker.1 / g Rodin could never have been ; Ocontent to leave things as heg / 0 found them. 0, 0 Works finished with ele-% ggance, as the bourgeois liked to 0 see their marble statues, he g, /

g could not abide. "Sculpture."; 0 he said„ "is the art of the hotel , 0 and the lump, not the straight-e e

iness of smooth faces without / modelling." (What an echo the ,0 first part of this sentence has off. 0 g things to come.) e e e 0 "The ignorant say. 'That is0 g not finished,' but there is no 5notion more false than this of 0 0 finish unless it he that of elegance. People would kill art%

O " with these two ideas. e 0 g Like the Impressionist painters. he left something to the ,0 imagination of the viewer .0 0 Often he allowed his figures to e O emerge from the rough block O 0 0 of stone which he did not trim / / g and the contrast between its 0

O roughness and the finished work t

, o o

4 'st. John the Baptist, bronze. by g Auguste Rodin in the Tate g 9allery G e

/ 8 / e (178). /

church: 4671 Pictures m

5 0 4

0 which appeared to be taking; 0 shape, as it were. before the . . 0 viewers' eyes was characteristic. 0

e ,•■ 0 Solidity and life were the two 0 essential qualities of sculpture/0 /

g to which Rodin clung. Both 0

/ / g were to be expressed best in 0

P movement. The posed and static e

,d model played little part, for he e

Oencouraged the model to move 0

g about in relaxed freedom. 0

O His St. John the Baptist, one g % of his earliest works, success0 / / / fully interprets that freedom4 /

g The artist found an Italian Imo; 0 sant who had never modelled 0 before, and while he strode

/ / about the studio Rodin O g developed the idea of the Bapg gtist; vigorous. clumsy in ap0 g pcarance. yet in mind wholly % / % He seems in this statue to be g

/ / g striding across the rocky wilderg g ness preaching the coming; e' Messiah to all in his way-or,g 5 if no one listens to 10, to the r, g hills and the trees and all quiesg

g cent nature. e O Edmund Gosse in 1903 0 /

g described this St. John as a g "wasted and bitter anchorite" i 0 e which showed how blind e g English critical opinion still 5 5 was at that time to the newt 0 vision. Plenty of controvers4 surrounded Rodin in his own/ 5 country, too, but acceptanceg g began to come after the St. g % John. which so exactly 0 0/ illustrates his own favourite gsaying: "The human body is

/ p ;like a temple marching."




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