It felt a little strange going to see Rodin's sculptures here in London while being so close to their native Paris, more so than it did seeing the slightly disappointing exhibit in Vancouver (that did, however, have the fantastic Adam on display so well worth the jaunt despite the lack of the number of his sculptural works on display). But after my usual brunch at the Violette, I trundled down to await new found pals EG and SE anyway and see what the Royal Academy had to offer. England has had a long love affair with Rodin, even in his early days, and in the opening days of the 20th century catapulted him to Andy Warhol-ish and Tracy Emin-esque fame amongst the elite of the time. And really,t he sub-text of the entire exhibition is really about Rodin's relationship with England. Witness the number of busts of British aristocracy and such luminaries as George Bernard Shaw. So, even while there were a stunning number of his major works arrayed in the exhibit including the Thinker, les Bergers de Calais (which I had never seen before and was particularly interested in seeing), the Kiss, The Defence and casts of Eve, Crouching Woman, St. Jean Baptiste, the Age of Bronze and even in the courtyard the monolithically impressive Portes de l'enfer/Gates of Hell -- what really impressed me the most (ok, besides the Burghers of Calais) were the additional ones I'd never seen before collected from British museums (with a seemingly great collections o gems I'd never seen before). I was particularly impressed with Cardiff's contributions with Clouds, Illusions Falling to Earth and Earth and Moon. So, yeah... if you've never been to the Musée Rodin in Paris, this was definitely a great introduction to the greatest sculptor since Michealangelo. I liked the Royal Academy exhibit enough (plus the super exceptional Aztecs exhibit they had several years ago pre-blog) that I actually bought an annual "Friend of the Royal Academy" pass + 2 guests and am thinking of going back shortly to see the Chola bronzes from South India.
Posted by Daryl on