Sunday, 24 September 2017

RODIN at the MET, NY

NY's Met has one of the world's best RODIN collections, but for a good long while they have been located in a thro-way which links one main part of the Met with another. Used every day by hoards, it did not encourage slow looking! 
Now, to celebrate the centenary of his death, a new and thoughtful permanent display changes the dynamtic. Same place but new lighting, new colour, new hang, new juxtapositions with paintings by his friends Monet, Puvis de Chevannes, Renoir, Bastien-Lepage, etc etc etc make for a fitting sculpture gallery - and home for one of the most famous ever works of art The THINKER.  
U can buy a copy of it from Walmart for $60 and from the Met store for $225!! 
Photo of Rodin by Steichen
The one at the Met, modeled in 1880, cast in bronze in 1910, was comissioned by the Met. It epitomise Rodin's "ardent, enduring exploration of the human figure as he strove to imitate 'not only form, but life" explains curator Denise Allen. Even his toes breathe energy, coiled in tension yet ready to dream or leap.
The first Rodin show at the Met was in 1912 when Rodin was 72. 
It was also the first ever show there of a living artist - & R was so pleased he donated some work from his studio. That was the start of a large collection of around 100 marbles, bronzes, plasters, terracottas, drawings and prints of which half are on show here
             This photo from an excellent Met BLOG shows the space before - below u see it now.

The Rodin gallery, now christened  B. Gerald Cantor Sculpture Gallery, in honor of their major 1980s gift, is divided into 2 - Heaven & Hell.
Hell comes first with its almost black, but sometimes greeny-black, big bold bronzes. 
 The half way point is marked by the beautiful classic Age of Bronze 1876
                                     here being removed, then re-installed to great effect.

Then heaven - with white marble lovers: Cupid & Psyche, Pygmalion & Galatea, sensuous Orpheus & Eurydice 1887, the erotic lovemaking of Eternal Spring.
140 years ago what did the pubic make of it all ?? I know my grandmother had sepia reproductions of these sculptures in her bedroom in the 1920s according to my mother, who herself went on to be a sculptor of the nude figure. The pix were still there when I was a child.
There is no defined path thro the show - explore it any way u want. Here above is Pygmalion & Galatea 1889. Marble. 
The walls are hung with related paintings. Here the Seine at Vetheuil 1880, by Monet - his friend. 
while right next door are the Monet and Impressionist rooms. How wonderful to get them to oneself!

See photos of a gallery's transformation for Rodin at The Met in this Now at The Met blog post.

          The curators responsible for this transformation are seen here.  Congratulations to all.

for more information see Rodin at The Met,
Here are lots of photos for your delight 

and - The extraordinary range of The Met's holdings of Rodin's work is highlighted in an adjacent gallery (gallery 809) with a selection of drawings, prints, letters, and illustrated books, as well as photographs of the master sculptor and his art. This focused presentation introduces visitors to the evolution of Rodin's draftsmanship and demonstrates the essential role of drawing in his practice. It also addresses Rodin's engagement with photographers, especially Edward Steichen (1879–1973), who served as a key intermediary in bringing Rodin's drawings to New York.
see more  pix of the Met and also Rodin being set up 

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