Auguste Rodin: 1840 - 1917
Francois-Auguste-Rene Rodin was born on Nov. 12, 1840, in Paris. At the age of 14 he entered the Petite Ecole, a school of decorative arts in Paris. He applied three times to study at the renowned Ecole des Beaux-Arts but was rejected each time. In 1858 he began to do decorative stonework in order to make his living. Four years later the death of his sister Marie so traumatized Rodin that he entered a sacred order.
The father superior of the order
recognized Rodin's talents and encouraged him to pursue his art.
In 1864 Rodin met a seamstress named Rose Beuret. She became
his life companion and was the model for many of his works. That
year Rodin submitted his Man with a Broken Nose to the
Paris Salon. It was rejected but later accepted under the title
Portrait of a Roman. Rodin traveled in 1875 to Italy, where the
works of Michelangelo made a strong impression on him. The trip
inspired his sculpture The Age of Bronze, which was exhibited
at the Paris Salon in 1877. It caused a scandal because the critics
could not believe that Rodin had not used a casting of a live
model in creating so realistic a work.
When Rodin was 76 years old he
gave the French government the entire collection of his own works
and other art objects he had acquired. They occupy the Hotel
Biron in Paris as the Musee Rodin and are still placed as Rodin