Eternal Spring is one of the most moving sculptures by the 19th century artist, Auguste Rodin. In it, the artist has represented the fusion of love and rebirth embodied in the body of a man and a woman but using open forms that convey to the viewer much more than it might seem at first glance. Rodin conceives sculpture as a means to capture feelings, the inner state, hence his works are much more than transcendental.
François Auguste René Rodin (1840 – 1917) is one of the most prominent figures in French statuary. Like no other, Rodin has emerged as one of the main representatives of the Impressionist movement in the field of sculpture. Although it is true that during the 19th century painting had undergone a great evolution towards more modern forms at the hand of the Impressionist group, until the arrival of Rodin, sculpture had remained rooted in tradition. His work represents a turning point in sculpture production and the starting point towards the 19th and 20th avant-gardes.
Trained at the School of Decorative Arts and with great knowledge about human anatomy that the artist acquired on his own, Rodin was a self-made artist. The artist worked in the workshop of some sculptors of his time, however the real turning point in his career came inthe seventies when the artist traveled to Italy to see Renaissance statuary first hand.
Shortly after that trip, around the year 1884, the artist conceived this sculpture, of which a number of variations have been made due to its success. It is a free-standing sculpture whose mold was made of clay to later be cast in bronze. The artist conceived the piece as part of the well-known work of The Gates of Hell, however it never became part of the well-known sculpture since the artist considered it inappropriate for the theme of the Doors. Actually, Eternal Spring –also known as Youth or Ideal- is the variation of a much better known work by Rodin, his famous Kiss; however, on this occasion the artist presents us with a much more heartbreaking scene, the force of desire is evident in a more passionate than romantic kiss where the bodies of the man and the woman merge into one to give rise to a new rebirth, a new spring.
Special mention deservesthe naked body of the young woman who is twisted in a powerful bowand is held by her partner. In some of the versions, the man rests his outstretched arm on a large branch and his leg on a rock. However, in this version the arm appears violently stretched high while the leg hangs out of the pedestal, occupying even more space. Special mention should be made of the finishes, contrasting the polishing of some areas with the rough appearance of others.