Recent ph. d. research

This page is dedicated to recent research by Ph. D. Candidates, and other recent contributions. If you are the author of an interesting thesis or article, please contact us to have your text listed on this page, so that others scolars can contact you.

Anna Tahinci: The collectors of Rodin's sculptures in his lifetime

2002; Doctoral dissertation, defended at the university of Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne in February 2002

"Our thesis examines the identity and characteristics of the collectors of Auguste Rodin’s (1840-1917) sculptures in his lifetime. Through the examination of their choices, our research explores the taste of an era. The name of Rodin's patrons is today forgotten, even if they were important personalities of the artistic, literary, scientific or financial world of the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Our research clarifies their identity, personality and importance in Rodin's artistic career.

The collectors' diversity (some of them are amateurs, some of them patrons) has allowed us to draw a real typology of the figure of the collector of Rodin's sculptures and to study the sculptor as a collected artist. The study of the commissions allowed us to focus on the collectors' choices and their importance in the history of taste. While studying their acquisitions and commissions, we examined the role of intermediaries between Rodin and his clientele. Moreover, we examined the way private collectors contributed to the enrichment of public collections. We finally focused on the human relationship that Rodin developed with his collectors."

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Aida Audeh: Rodin's Gates of Hell and Dante's Divine Comedy: an iconographic study

2002; Doctoral dissertation, approved in May 2002

In her thesis, Aida Audeh has researched the relationship between Dante's famous poem Divina Commedia, the medieval illustrations of the work, Rodin's preparatory sketches for The Gates of Hell and the final design of the individual figures. Audeh challenges Prof. Albert Elsen's thesis that Rodin - after initially studying Dante's work intensively - finally abandoned the tradition of figurative representation and developed a rather modern work, dealing with the dilemmas of his time. Instead, the author demonstrates that Rodin through his sketches immersed himself completely in Dante's text and the medieval imagery delivered through various book illustrations, so that the subsequent sculptural work can only be understood by studying these basic materials. 

Aida Audeh has also published a range of other articles dealing with the relationship between Rodin's and Dante's work and the reception of Dante in the Nineteenth Century. 

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Jenny Maxwell: 'Rodin: Breathing Life into Sculpture.'

Hello, I am a 4th year Art History student studying at St Andrews University, Scotland and my dissertation topic is 'Rodin: Breathing Life into Sculpture.'

I was wondering if I could bounce a few ideas off the Rodin-Web group!

An aspect of Rodin's work in which I am particularly interested is the notion of Rodin as 'A Creator' and 'The Creation' he produces through his work. Rodin builds his own world around him in his work, quite literally sculpting life and 'breathing' into the fabric in which he works.

I want to explore this notion further, laying particular emphasis on 'The creation story' as written in the Bible, and connecting this with Rodin's works, looking at works such as 'Eve,' 'The Gates of Hell,' 'The Hand of God' etc.. I am also very interested in the emphasis in Rodin's work on the hand and body.

How is Rodin able to produce sculpture that literally seem to live, breathe and speak through their static, silent forms?

I am looking into art, religion, philosophy and contemporary 19thC literature by Zola and
Baudelaire, Nietzsche and Freud, all in connection with Rodin's work.

If anyone has any ideas or particular interest in Rodin and any of the aspects that I have mentioned above, or has any thoughts on other aspects I might include in my dissertation, I would love to hear from you!

With kind regards, Jenny Maxwell

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