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Paris’ Rodin Museum: Impressionism in Stone

Paris, France

Rodin, a modern Michelangelo, created sculptures that showed powerful emotion. Unlike Michelangelo, he worked in bronze, creating models that could be reproduced. Touring the Rodin Museum and garden, we see The Kiss, The Thinker, and more.

Complete Video Script

A short walk takes us to the palatial mansion, studio, and garden of another great impressionist: Auguste Rodin. Rodin was a modern Michelangelo, sculpting human figures with powerful insight, revealing, through the body, their deepest emotions. Now a museum, this historic mansion presents the full range of Rodin’s work.

His early works match the belle-époque style of the late 19th century — noble busts of bourgeois citizens and pretty portraits of their daughters.

But Rodin had working-class roots, and because of his populist sentiments, the art establishment snubbed him. That’s no wonder. Look at the intensity of this symbol of France as she screams "libertié, egalitié, fraternitié".

With his groundbreaking Bronze Man, Rodin came into his own, and was recognized as an artistic force. From this point on, he left convention behind and blazed his own artistic trail.

Here, his Hand of God shapes Adam and Eve from the mud of the earth to which they will return.

Unlike Michelangelo, who selected a piece of marble and then carved a single work of art, Rodin created models, which could then be reproduced and sold as authorized versions.

In The Kiss, a passionate woman twines around a solid man for their first, spontaneous kiss. We can almost read the emotions that led up to this meeting of the lips. The Kiss was the first Rodin work the public loved.

Rodin enjoyed his garden — as do visitors today, who find it a place for peaceful meditation a century after the artist last planted a statue here.

He sculpted the famous Thinker in 1906. Leaning slightly forward, tense and compact, every muscle working toward producing that one great thought, Man contemplates his fate. Said Rodin, “It is a statue of myself.”