Auguste Rodin

At the age of 10, Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) already showed promise as an artist, and he soon took to clay with natural skill. He was rejected three times from the prestigious, and conventional, Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. To pay the bills he earned a living as a decorative artist, creating statues and ornamental pieces for public commissions. His sculptures were rejected from the important Paris Salon in the 1860s, and when one of works was finally accepted into the Salon of 1877 he was roundly accused of having cast his male nude work, The Age of Bronze, from a live model although he had sculpted it fully by hand. For this reason, he began sculpting larger than life works which could not be accused of having been cast directly from models. Rodin achieved stature and success in the early 1900s. In 1912, the building in which he lived and worked was scheduled for demolition and the tenants were ordered to vacate. Rodin persuaded officials to let him stay in exchange for the bequest of his entire estate, and, on the condition that the residence, the Hôtel Biron, become a museum for his work after he died. Today, the Musee Rodin and its surrounding grounds continue to grace the Paris art scene.
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