Rodin & Eros

Overview

Rodin’s erotic depictions of women in drawings, sculptures, plasters, bronzes, and marbles
The theme of the erotic is ever present in the work of August Rodin, both in his sculptures and in his many drawings. Throughout his career, he depicted sexual desire in all its facets, in every mood from delicate innocence to frank intensity, bearing witness to an endless fascination with the flesh and a love of the female form. Taking a chronological path through Rodin's career, this is ...

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Overview

Rodin’s erotic depictions of women in drawings, sculptures, plasters, bronzes, and marbles
The theme of the erotic is ever present in the work of August Rodin, both in his sculptures and in his many drawings. Throughout his career, he depicted sexual desire in all its facets, in every mood from delicate innocence to frank intensity, bearing witness to an endless fascination with the flesh and a love of the female form. Taking a chronological path through Rodin's career, this is an intimate approach to the many faces of sex and sensuality in his body of work and in the society within which his art was forged, from mythological portrayals of passion to the context of contemporary erotic literature. The topics featured include his relationships with women, his friendships with poets and artists, and the controversy that his sculptures caused in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when French society was marked by a hypocritical disparity between public morals and private desires. In a 1916 interview, Rodin spoke out against his critics: "They protest against the immorality of my work, they criticize me for loving women…. But they are incapable of understanding what I do." This witty and insightful book, packed with beautiful images, will shed new light on this intriguing aspect of the artist's world and his skill at capturing the fleeting nature of pleasure in timeless art.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
French art historian Bonafoux muses on Rodin's eroticism and sensuality, his influences, and the puritanism of 19th century France he rebelled against. It was a time in which journalists decried allowing women in the Louvre, remarking "Many of the figures…are altogether unfit for female inspection," while Flaubert faced criminal charges over Madame Bovary. Influences discussed include Dante, Baudelaire, the myths of Ovid's Metamorphoses, and the Bible. Bonafoux (Rembrandt: Substance and Shadow) discusses the influence of Dante, Baudelaire, Ovid, and the Bible. He also considers possible influences based on time of publication and similarity in themes to Rodin's work like Alphonse de Lamartine and Gauiter. Commentary by his contemporaries provides insight into Rodin's personality and process, noting that the "continuous presence of naked people" in the studio allowed Rodin to "decipher the expression of emotions in all parts of the body." Bonafoux also provides quotes on aesthetics from Rodin himself, such as his address on the popularity of Japanese prints, when he stated "people should not appropriate that which is not native to them." While a great deal of this book is speculation on possible influences and interpretations, as Bonafoux admits, the material is interesting and the author well-informed enough to make such speculating worthwhile. 156 illus. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500239001
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication date: 4/16/2013
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 802,511
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Pascal Bonafoux is a French writer and art historian, whose books includeVan Gogh: The Passionate Eye and Rembrandt: Substance and Shadow. His essays and articles have been widely published and he has also curated exhibitions around the world.

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