Having first opened at the Rodin Museum in Paris, the exhibition "Rodin, la chair, le marbre" (Rodin, Flesh, Marble) next moves to Milan, to be staged in the Hall of the Caryatids of the Royal Palace and then in Rome, at the National Gallery of Modern Art. A selection of about 50 marvelous marble sculptures by the sculptor who, along with Michelangelo, is still regarded as one of the most revolutionary exponents of the plastic synthesis.
The exhibition is the very first of its kind: never has the marble sculpture of the French artist been the subject of such a vast focus of study outside the Rodin Museum. The introductory section shows visitors how Rodin fashioned his work according to the material he used, with the aim of giving the greatest insight into how the master used marble to suggest and create a sort of eroticism of the flesh through stone. In fact, Rodin had a special relationship with this medium and his contemporaries saw him as a ‘tamer’ in front of which marble began to quake. In contrast to idealistic convention, in Rodin’s hands, the marbles embody the life and form of the modern spirit. This material, traditionally associated with immobility and the depiction of the human body since Antiquity, becomes even more real and ’emotional’. Rodin often asked his models to move for him in the studio, instead of adopting the classic fixed, motionless positions taught in the art academies. In the space of a few minutes, he could create rough clay models which formed the basis for his works, usually executed in bronze. His work formed a key benchmark for the next generation of sculptors.
The value of the book is further enhanced by critical contributions from Aline Magnen, Paul-Luis Rinuy, Véronique Matiussi and others.