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Rodin, Auguste (1840-1917)
by Scholes, Robert

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Auguste Rodin (1840 - 1917)

He was born 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 Ecole des Beaux-Arts but was rejected each time. So he got work as a stone cutter, and in 1862, after the death of a beloved sister, he entered a religious order, where he was encouraged to be a sculptor. His life, however, was not to be monastic. In 1864 he met a seamstress named Rose Beuret, who became his model and his mistress. 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. In 1875 he travelled to Italy, drawing strength from the work of Michelangelo, to which his own regularly refers. Among the women who came under his spell were the talented Camille Claudel, whose work is now exhibited in the Rodin Museum in Paris, and Gwen John, the English painter, who posed for Rodin's La Muse.

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