Bowman Sculpture celebrates Auguste Rodin’s contribution to the history of art with The Birth of Modern Sculpture, an exhibition of over thirty works including a rare lifetime cast of the artist’s famed Eternal Spring (conceived in 1884) as well as a selection of his most renowned pieces such as The Thinker, The Kiss, Balzac and Man with a Broken Nose. The exhibition will also include original copies of letters written by Rodin and a number of drawings unseen in public.
Coinciding with the centenary of the death of Rodin (b. 1840 – d. 1917), The Birth of Modern Sculpture aims to underline Rodin’s enduring sculptural legacy with significant works ranging from the early years to his late abstracted figures.
Amongst Rodin’s earlier work, visitors will be able to see Maquette for The Burghers of Calais, which the sculptor first conceived in 1884 as the inspiration for his emblematic monument. Created as a homage to the brave citizens of Calais who sacrificed themselves to the invading English forces during the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453), this rare model (cast in 1975) offers us a fascinating insight into the artist’s early concept for this commemorative public sculpture.
Among the extremely rare works on show is Rodin’s Fugit Amor, originally conceived in marble in 1887, and later cast in bronze for the Musée Rodin by the Alexis Rudier foundry in 1944. First realised as part of The Gates of Hell and inspired by the story of Paolo and Francesca from Dante’s Inferno, the two figures known as Fugit Amor can be seen twice on the right hand door. Another example of a notable work on display is The Abduction of Hippodamie (c1871), an early work part modelled by Rodin under the mentorship of Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (1824–1887). Depicting a centaur carrying a young woman, The Abduction of Hippodamie is a remarkable example of two sculptors collaborating with surprising effect.
The Birth of Modern Sculpture will also showcase three works from the later part of Rodin’s career such as his Mouvement de danse figures. The artist’s late dance figures have enjoyed a marked revival in interest, particularly in the UK, and the exhibition at Bowman Sculpture will be an opportunity to see a number of rarely-seen bronzes. Works such as Pas de Deux – Mouvement de Danse Type G, conceived in 1911, showing dancers with exaggerated poses is an excellent example of Rodin’s later move towards abstraction.
The Birth of Modern Sculpture will be staged in September at 1 Canada Square in London’s Canary Wharf, offering visitors another unique opportunity to see these beautiful works.
Bowman Sculpture is based at 6 Duke Street, St James’s, London, and is one of the foremost gallery’s in the world for sculpture by Auguste Rodin.
If you would like further information , visit the Bowman Sculpture website here
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