Auguste Rodin

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Sunwise turn Incorporated, 1919 - 100 pages

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A sculpture of words
Very seldom does a literary work about art rise to such a challenge that it equals, if not surpasses the art that it seeks to describe. This book stands as a meritorious example
of what the best books about art may only hope to achieve. Despite its existence as a translation, the translator has managed to suffuse this work with all of the art of the original. This book should be included in the library of any that choose to expand their knowledge of Rodin, of sculpture, or of art in general. 

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Page 40 - ... like sick animals that know no one can help them. But hands are a complicated organism, a delta into which many divergent streams of life rush together in order to pour themselves into the great storm of action. There is a history of hands : they have their own culture, their particular beauty ; one concedes to them the right of their own development, their own needs, feelings, caprices and tendernesses. Rodin, knowing through the education which he has given himself that the entire body consists...
Page 39 - There are among the works of Rodin hands, single small hands which, without belonging to a body, are alive. Hands that rise, irritated and in wrath; hands whose five bristling fingers seem to bark like the five jaws of a dog of Hell. Hands that walk, sleeping hands, and hands that are awakening; criminal hands, tainted with hereditary disease; and hands that are tired and will do no more, and have lain down in some corner like sick animals that know no one can help them. But hands are a complicated...
Page 24 - Life entered into his work: his art was not built upon a great idea but upon a craft, in which the fundamental element was the surface, was what is seen. Ah no, I have the names reversed: the first sentence is by Ruskin, the second by Rilke. There is always a confusion, is there not, when literary men meddle with art? iii Between the "wrong...
Page 30 - But probably it was returned almost unexamined as the work of someone unknown. Rodin's motive in modelling this head, the head of an ageing, ugly man, whose broken nose even helped to emphasize the tortured expression of the face, must have been the fullness of life that was cumulated in these features. There were no symmetrical planes in this face at all, nothing repeated itself, no spot remained empty, dumb or indifferent.
Page 59 - Each face that he has modelled he has lifted out of the bondage of the present into the freedom of the future, as one holds a thing up toward the light of the sky in order to understand its purer and simpler forms. Rodin's conception of Art was not to beautify or to give a characteristic expression, but to separate the lasting from the transitory, to sit in judgment, to be just. Beside the etchings, his portrait work embraces a great number of finished and masterly drawings. There are busts in plaster,...
Page 19 - This art was to help a time whose misfortune was that all its conflicts lay in the invisible.
Page 39 - With regard to the painter, at least, came the understanding and the belief that an artistic whole need not necessarily coincide with the complete thing . . . that new values, proportions and balances may originate within the pictures. In the art of sculpture, also, it is left to the artist to make out of many things one thing, and from the smallest part of a thing an entirety.
Page 49 - Before the silent, closed room of this surface is placed the figure of "The Thinker," the man who realizes the greatness and terror of the spectacle about him, because he thinks it. He sits absorbed and silent, heavy with thought: with all the strength of an acting man he thinks.
Page 9 - WE cannot fathom his mysterious head, Through the veiled eyes no flickering ray is sent; But from his torso gleaming light is shed As from a candelabrum ; inward bent His glance there glows and lingers. Otherwise The round breast would not blind you with its grace, Nor could the soft-curved circle of the thighs Steal to the arc whence issues a new race. Nor could this stark and stunted stone display Vibrance beneath the shoulders...

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