Auguste Rodin was one of the great artists of the 19th century, and certainly one of the greatest sculptors of all time. A character who had two great passions in his life: on the one hand, art, and on the other, women, and of course, he mixed both things in a series of works that have gone down in Art History with capital letters.
Camille Claudel in a Phrygian hat
With works like The Kiss he became a benchmark of eroticism, and few authors have been as capable as him of transmitting those sensations, and of giving life to sensuality and excitement like the French artist. Some of what he was capable of in his works in marble or bronze, in his clay models and also in his interesting and very abundant drawings.
That ability to represent those feelings is based on his undoubted mastery and also on his love for women. For many women, because the truth is that he had numerous lovers and he loved all of them in his own way, he enjoyed all of them and he was unfaithful to all of them. And he also made many of them pose as models of his works.
The list would be long, but we have chosen two who, in addition to being his lovers, also worked with him. And they did it at the same time, as evidenced by documents and photographs from the time.
One of them was the sculptor Camille Claudel, who we see in a representation with a Phrygian cap. Aelement that takes us to Antiquity and also to Neoclassicism, since Phrygian hats became fashionable again with artists such as the Danish Bertel Thordvaldsen and his work Ganymede and the eagle.
Camille Claudel entered Rodin's workshop at a very young age, and was undoubtedly one of his most outstanding students, as some of his works show. In fact, there are theories that say that the sculptor ended her relationship with her, for fear that he would surpass him in mastery. That is speculation, and what is really true isClaudelshe was privileged in sculpture and had ambitions, but she also had a very particular character. Perhaps that is why the model for this 1886 sculpture Rodin did not make in clay but in mass of glass, something that fit much better with the delicacy of his fragile lover, who was 25 years old at the time of this representation.
Furthermore, if we look at the face, we see the ability ofRodinto capture in detail the personality of each one of his portraits. And in this case you can see some eyes, whose gaze somehow predicts the stormy inner world of this woman.
Rose Beuret Bust
Quite different is thebust of Rose Beuret, who was one of his longest-lasting lovers, possibly because of her more docile and servile nature. In fact, she stayed for many years as her assistant, especially preparing the clay in optimal conditions for her models.
It is precisely in the clay modelfrom 1890, where Rodin once again shows himself to be a wonder, since he is capable of representing his long-suffering lover with a severe aspect and transmitting a tone of reproach towards his constantly unfaithful behavior.