AUGUSTE RODIN - his life, his work (8)




Steichen's Balzac in the moonlightKing Edward VII of England visits Rodin in Meudon. 
The Metropolitan Museum of Arts purchases The dancer Hanako several works of Rodin. 
Edward Steichen takes photos of the 'Balzac' in the moonlight in Meudon.
Rodin now lives inside the terrain of the Hôtel Biron in Paris, like already Rilke, the dancer Isadora Duncan, Jean Cocteau and Henri Matisse did.
Portraits of the Japanese dancer 'Hanako', the Duchesse de Choiseul and others.


Monument of Victor HugoThe revised version of 'Victor Hugo', sitting, in marble, is set up in the garden of the Palais Royal.
Paul Claudel returns from China and finds Camille in a state of neglection, destroying her own work piece by piece.
Exhibitions in Prague, Ghent, London.
Completion of the bust 'Gustav Mahler' and 'Napoleon', among others.


Rodin becomes Knight Commander of the Legion of Honour.
The sculptor fancies to isolate fragments from his former work and present them as art works for themselves. To Muriel Ciolkowska, he explains: 

"Recently I have taken to isolating limbs, the torso. Why am I blamed for it? Why is it allowed the head and not portions of the body? Every part of the human figure is expressive."

Studies on dance movements with the model Moreno.
Exhibitions in Buenos Aires, Leipzig and New York.


First public exhibition of Cubism at the Salon des Indépendants.


Rodin in his atelier, 1911, taken by SteichenThe state acquires the Hôtel Biron for the Ministry of Public Instruction and Fine Arts;  Conversations of the artist by Paul Gsell, bookcoverIndependent of each other, Judith Cladel and Gustave Coquiot propose to institute a museum for Rodin's work in the Hôtel Biron;  the government orders a commission to examine this suggestion which is finally realized in 1919.
Short stay in London to visit the site for the 'Burghers of Calais'.
A collection of conversations with the artist edited by Paul Gsell is published under the title 'L'Art, entretiens réunis par Paul Gsell'.
Exhibititons in Prague, Buffalo, Düsseldorf, Venice, Rome and Berlin.


The Walking ManIn January, Rodin travels to Italy together with the Duchesse de Choiseul and inspects the future site of his 'Walking Man'. The cast was donated by admirers to be placed at the Palazzo Farnese in Rome.
Warned by Marcelle Tirel, Rodin breaks his relationship with the Duchesse, before she manages to be appointed as his heiress; with support of Judith Cladel,  other money-oriented women can be kept away from Rodin who is now weak and harmed.
First hemiplegia-attack (paralysis of one side of the body).
Rodin creates a series of drawings and a statue of the dancer 'Nijinsky', after Nijinsky's performance of Debussy's "Afternoon of a Faun" on 29 May 1912 - which raised another scandal in the press.
Rodin presents a fragmentary plaster torso to the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
Exhibitions in Venice, Lyon, Tokyo, Rome and Chicago.


Camille has destroyed a great part of her plaster models, her house is a mess. In March 1913, one week after the death of her father, Camille is delivered to the mental hospital Ville-Evrard by force. Till her death in 1943, she will stay in custody, deprived of her art, fearing to be poisoned by the "Rodin gang". Rodin sends money to cover the costs for the care.
Exhibitions in Munich, Algier, Ghent, Rome and at the Armory Show in New York.


Mrs SpreckelRodin's studies about 'Les cathédrales de France' are published.
Mrs Spreckel makes first purchases for her collection which is placed today at the Palace of the Legion of Honour in San Francisco.
Second journey to England in this year with Rose and Judith Cladel to evade the outbreak of the war between Germany and France.
He donates 18 sculptures to the Victoria and Albert Museum.
After a short stay in Paris,  Rodin travels to Italy together with Rose and the American dancer Loïe Fuller.


Rodin has four sessions for a portrait with Pope Benedict XV in Rome, but "the German Pope" refuses to let Rodin look at him from all directions.
Short stay in Florence.


Dada anti-art movement is flourishing in Zürich.


Second hemiplegia-attack, later an apoplexy. Auguste RodinThe French government speeds up the donation of Rodin´s work to the state, in order to establish the planned Rodin Museum at the Hôtel Biron. Rodin offers to create a bust of Etienne Clémentel, the Minister of Commerce, who has overcome the opposition of the anti-Rodinists.  At the fourth state of the portrait, Rodin suffers another stroke, from which he does not recover completely. He now often sinks in a state of mental lethargy. In this condition, he signs a deed of gift on 13 September, according to Grunfeld, transferring his whole work, art collection and financial assets to the French state, thereby overruling prior wills in favour of Jeanne Bardey and Loïe Fuller; only his will in favour of Rose remains in power. The Musée Rodin also mentions two other donation treaties dated 1 April and 25 Oct. 1916.  The transfer is accepted by the National Assembly on 24 Dec. 1916.



Due to the war, fuel is scarce and the French state officials, who have just cashed in the complete fruits of Rodin's life, leave the old couple in the unheated house in Meudon. Hinted by Judith Cladel, Rodin marries Rose Beuret on 29 January.

The day before the wedding, the water pipes freeze and burst, so that the drawing room is flooded. Because of the cold, Rodin and Rose spend their honeymoon mostly in bed, sharing memories of their life together. Two weeks later, on 14 Febr. 1917, Rose dies. 
Lorries arrive in Meudon to bring all valuable objects to the Hôtel Biron. Even the gothic crucifix from Rodin's bedroom is carried off, setting Rodin in rage, till Judith Cladel rescues the situation and orders the cross to be restored in its old place. Rodin is allowed a visit to the Hôtel Biron only every second Sunday. On 25 April, Leonce Bénédite presents another will to Rodin, which should confirm him as the future conservator of the Musée Rodin. Since then, pens and pencils are kept away from Rodin, to prevent he might write yet another will. Rodin on his deathbed, drawn by Andrea KlumpkeRuth Butler mentions an additional codicil set up by Bénédite and signed by Rodin on 15 November, to secure Rodin's personal souvenirs, portraits and decorations for the Museum. Rodin's funeral, 24th November 1917 Rodin's son will merely become his father's watch.
On 17 November, Auguste Rodin dies in Meudon. A plaster cast made of Rodin's hand is combined with a small female torso and given the title 'Hand of Rodin'. 
Together with his wife Rose, Rodin is buried in the garden of the Villa des Brillants in Meudon, on 24 November. A monumental cast of his 'Thinker' is placed close to their tomb. 




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