Rodin, part 2

Prayer, by Auguste Rodin. B&W photos are “argentic”, Ilford on Asahi-Pentax, 1981. Colour photos from 2016, after the Rodin Museum renovation. (Iphone, hehe!)

As I digitalized my old B&W pix and compared them to the “new ones”, I was surprised I’d taken almost the exact same shots. “Young woman with a hat”.

The same young girl, almost two centuries after the model was born. The glass case may protect the sculpture from the visitors’ hands, but doesn’t help the photographer. Imagine her, strolling in Rodin’s garden, with a long dress, and her hat covered with coloured flowers. Her name was Rose Beuret (1844-1917), a seamstress and “Blanchisseuse”. She was Rodin’s… “common-law wife” one might say? They married in 1917, a few weeks before her death. Rodin didn’t survive her much.

Thanks to Gilles for her name. I didn’t know of her existence. Do visit Gilles very witty cartoons (in English and French) here:

The headdress is more “working class. A maid perhaps? The head carved out of massive marble piece. The body never emerged. See the softness of the skin, the eyes lost in thought, hammered out of rough stone. Sculptors probably say: “The head was inside the stone”.

A little-known Van Gogh. Le père Tanguy. (Old man Tanguy) 1887. Only one year after van Gogh had left Holland. This is the third portrait of Julien Tanguy, an art supplies dealer and sometimes art merchant. He was one of the first to offer Van Gogh’s paintings for sale. See the inclusion of Japanese motifs in the painting. European painters had been fascinated by the discovery of Japanese woodblocks after the opening of Japan in the 1850’s.

(I am always ingrigued to see what other works, artists like Rodin, or Monet, or Maillol, bought and liked. Tells us a bit more about them)

Rodin. Not sure about the subject. in the 80’s, film was expensive, you couldn’t just shoot the legend as well. Could be Marianne, the symbol of the French Republic.

Those are Greek or Roman small heads at the Musée Rodin. Probably all that was left of small statues. Again, we can see another source of inspiration for Rodin.

Same goes. ‘Need to go back to the museum for the legend. I’ll keep you posted. Again, as in the previous post, I find Rodin’s sense of movement quite unique. Not many sculptors have achieved that.

Illusion’, Icarus’ sister. Got the legend. c.1984-96. And the things you learn: that piece was carved out by Alexandre Pézieux, Rodin’s assistant.

Test runs. Rodin Museum. (As all these two posts)

Renoir and Rodin. Can’t fail with Renoir, can you?

Allow me to present Rodin’s most famous work: The thinker. That shot was taken in February 81. Winter light. The Invalides, where Napoleon’s tomb is, stands in the background. The scene today is a tad different. The trees have grown, the statue is almost entirely shrouded in green. Side note: Napoleon’s tomb will take 130, 000 Euros to renovate. About 150k$. Care to donate? The French State is broke. Public debt will reach close to 120% of GDP soon.

Rodin’s Thinker by Edvard Munch. Remember “The scream”? In Dr Linde’s park, Lübeck. Magical name, Lübeck. Ask me not why. (There are several original copies around the world)

Flea market at Saint-Ouen. The thinker has inspired many artists. Maybe he should be included in Political sciences classes across the globe? Let me make sure I get my point clear: politicos ain’t thinkin’ no more… (did they ever, actually?)

Back to the original thinker. Musée Rodin, Paris. February 1981. Old B&W 35mm negative scan.

Thank you for strolling along in Rodin’s gardens, courtesy of Equinoxio’s Time-Space shuttle. Until next time. 🙏🏻😷

64 thoughts on “Rodin, part 2

    • Thank you. In my “argentic” days, B&W were a favourite experiment of mine. Works – very – well for some subjects: sculture. Stone. Buidings. Portraits and human body. Lousy on landscapes or mutlicoloured stuff: e.g the sea and surroundings. Latin America doesn’t do well. Les calvaires marchent très bien en N&B. 😉
      Now if you look at old “film noirs” movies, you see the electricians did wonders with shadows.
      Anyway. Ilford was expensive on a student’s budget, but worth it.
      All well? Seems France can’t go under the 10,00o cases a day threshold? yet another example of our accountants’ many blunders? ✊🏻
      Stay safe…

      • You are very welcome! Yes, I totally agree, B&W brings out a quality in some subjects that colour does not and yes, some old movies really illustrate that point too!
        Well, the next lockdown review is on Dec 15, so, we shall see!! Stay Safe over there!!

      • Yep. I have just bought Citizen Kane on Apple TV. Look forward to the shadows.
        The “jauge” set by little Micron and his gnomes seems high. 10,000 cases? I suggest we all make “a croix” on this Christmas/New year. There will be others.
        (Here is exploding… Not good)
        Kenavo arbechar et tout ça.

  1. Merci pour cet exquis compliment, Brieuc !
    L’hypothèse est excellente. C’est un buste de Mariane avant l’heure. Il s’agit de la réponse de Rodin à un concours de 1879 du Conseil Municipal de Paris et destiné en effet aux salles des mariages des mairies de Paris. Le buste est en fait celui de Rose Beuret, une fois de plus. Rodin l’appela Clorinde puis Hippolyte et enfin Bellone. Rodin ne gagna pas le concours. Compte tenu de l’expression désabusée et revencharde du buste, à mes yeux, je comprends que le jury ne l’ai pas sélectionné. Le jury n’a dailleurs sélectionné aucune des oeuvres proposées ! Si Rose Beuret avait vraiment cette expression, ses relations avec Rodin devaient être tumultueuses !

    • Haha. Amusant comme on peut trouver par hasard des goûts en commun. Rodin par exemple, dont tu sembles tout savoir. (Merci pour Rose Beuret). 1879? Elle aurait eu 35 ans? À en croire Balzac dans la femme de trente ans, elle pouvait déjà être un peu “ravagée”. (Ou alors elle en avaiat marre de Camille?) Je préfère le buste en terre au chapeau… Avec toute la fraîcheur de sa jeunesse. (Mignonne allons voir si la rose…)
      Bonne soirée Gilles.

  2. Interesting again! I very much like the Ilford pictures. And Lübeck, the old Hanseatic city in north Germany. Beautiful place! Did you by any chance read Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann? That novel is situated in Lübeck.

    • Ilford was fab. Don’t know whether they’re still around.
      Mann has escaped me, I must confess. Though I have him in mind in my to-read list.
      The name comes to me from Hugo Pratt’s “La ballade de la mer salée”. Featuring Corto Maltese and a young German Lieutenant from Lübeck. Pratt had probably read Thomas Mann…
      Tot ziens Peter.

  3. I too have always been fascinated by what art the greats purchased or owned or admired. I always wonder if they receive inspiration or merely love them because they wish they could do such art. We will never know. And then you almost wonder about the artists who did not own other art. Are they only interested in their own?

    It is also very interesting to see how the garden has changed around your Thinker over time. The one constant the art.

    And lastly, it is very interesting the concept of people making art of art like your Munch. The image of the Thinker has been used a million times but to see it in older fine art is amazing.

    Ok, one more thing. I do love to see how some old images or negatives kind of age. We wont have that any longer will we? You can go through your old images or negatives or slides and see how they have changed. My son will go through mine on my computer assuming it holds up along with any backups and the images will be exactly the same…not sure if that is a good thing or not.

    • Hi Jenny. We agree on so many things, it is amazing… 😉
      There most likely are total narcissists among painters too. Point in case: I don’t know whether Picasso had anybody else’s art.
      Yes, art doesn’t change. The short palm trees of my magic house in Africa, if they’re still there, must be huge now.
      Aging of negatives. Fascinating. I have just “redone” close to 100 family portraits going back to 1860. Some reshot from old prints. Others scanned from old negatives of old print. Photoshop and Bam! Some actually turned out some colours. Amazing.
      And old colour photos? You can restore the colours just like that. Old slides of Yucatan I took in 78? Completely new.
      When little C. looks back at your pictures, they will probably have invented a programme that re-creates movement and film from a single shot…
      (just bought a microscope for little G.)
      Take care my dear.

      • No. Unless you also hear voices… 😉 It once came to me after a Paul McCartney concert here in Mexico. He was answering a question in an interview: “And how do you create so many wonderful melodies?”
        He said: “I don’t know. I sit down at the piano. there’s a song floating in the air. I bring it down to the piano. Record it. And voilà.” (He can’t read or write music.)
        What you do with your poems is pick up words that float in the air, write them down. And voilà. (I do the same with my stories. I “write” them in my head, until they’re complete. Then I sit down and write… 🙏🏻

  4. Food for the soul. I had seen a copy of the Van Gogh , but that’s because I had a series of good art teachers and it was a subject I was vested in. Another reason I love your blogs.

    • Art teachers? And philosophy… Where did you study? The grand seminar or its Anglican equivalent? Or am I totally out in the blue?
      8I’m a sucker for Art. and History. And Philosopy. And. And…)
      Cheers Paul

      • Just art at high school, we had some really good teachers who were actual artists, not theoreticians. I did cover art history at university as part of a general history course which really fascinated me. Then I went off to study art as an adult at technical college, had a wow of a time too. 🙂

      • What’s not to like? I had some hopeless teachers and I’ve worked some bad ones too. Fortunately there were some inspirational ones among them. But I was a difficult student, I was bored …

      • We all had some. Scratch them. It’s the brilliant ones that matter. And I can easily imagine you bored in some classes. A telltale sign for the teacher to clean up his/her act. Language teachers hated me. I spoke better English than they did. 😉🤣🤣🤣

      • There are a few of those. Sadly. But there bad – and good – people in every trade. Let’s focus on the good ones.
        Cheers, “Mate”. (Good Dayy, since you’re already Thursday and begin your day as we finish ours. Still Wednesday here.)

  5. I greatly enjoyed my stroll in Rodin’s gardens. Thank you for bringing me along! The images in your post are very well-curated. I was particularly taken by the contrast between the two Rose images.

  6. Global Dictionary (edition Feb. 2314) excerpt:
    To think: (def.) a useless, if not dangerous activity performed less and less by the middle and lower class up until the beginning of the 21st century when it has been deemed illegal and punishable by covid-infection.
    The thinker: (desc.) originally a stone carving, representation of an individual performing the criminal act of thinking.

    In a quantum universe, the above is just one of the infinite possibilities of a future. In our times it is already a high probability. Should we avoid such future, or help creating it? Think… while it’s still legal!

  7. I always enjoy your posts Brian. The picture with Les Invalides in the background surprised me. It must be satisfying to have your own personal documentation of these sorts of changes.

    • Hi Carol. Always a pleasure. I’d forgotten about this old set of pics, until I finished scanning a bunch of negatives… Then realized the Invalides were there and compared to a more recent photo… It is fun.
      Though it is also crazy: i did a quick tally the other day, I have around 50,000 photos or more on disk. Mine and my family’s, going all the way back to the 1860’s.
      Not to mention 8mm films which I’m digitalizing. I’ll probably need a few more years to catalog everything.
      All well in your neck of the woods?
      Bon Dimanche et bonne semaine.

      • Wow! That’s a major cataloguing project. I hope that I’ll some day find the time to organize items of that nature that I’ve inherited. Have to wait for kids to be out of the house first. Bonne semaine aussi à toi.

      • Merci!
        It does take time. I was greatly helped almost ten years ago, when one of my brothers came to visit. SInce I have 99% of the family albums, he scanned 80-90% of the albums. Then I had to separate the pix, and catalogue… I still work on details but most of the material is done, from prints to slides to negatives… I still have a few boxes of negatives in Paris, but that’s rather easy.
        You’re right, you have other priorities now.
        Stay safe Carol.

  8. I love the stories behind the artwork. These figurative pieces call out across time for us to understand names, occupations, culture, and personal history, so just love those details. Rose Beuret is compelling, she is so young here. What insane class differences in a society that mean someone isn’t considered ‘good enough’ for marriage or even courteous social recognition.

    • I didn’t know about Rose until Gilles Labruyère told me who she was. I then researched and realized that bust was of her.
      Sadly class differences are still here. The things I still hear in Latin America. ‘coz I live there, but I’m sure one would hear the same in Europe. In the UK, a few years ago your accent told everyone where you came from, socially, no matter what your accomplishments were.
      merry Christmas Libre. This wretched 2020 is almost over. Best wishes for 2021. (Job-wise in particular. I know you had been looking) 🙏🏻

      • Yes, I fear in UK these things are not getting better in terms of class consciousness, given who is in charge and how they scratch each others’ backs.
        Approaching 2021 with caution due to Brexit madness, but also with hope – we have the vaccine to peg hopes on. Christmas and seasonal wishes to you, and the very best for the new year.

      • We saw My fair Lady last night. Never seen it before. A tad too long as many American musicals. But a rare insight into British class divisions. Costumes. by Cecil Beaton… (My, my…) After the “Ascot” sequence in the movie, I wondered how it goes now in the Hamptons in the US, or in fancy “charity” parties in New York. Don’t think it has changed much, has it?
        Merci Libre. Let’s peg our hopes to the vaccine.
        As for Xmas, your children are still little so you should be able to have a nice pleasant family evening. Do you have other relations you might miss this time?

  9. Thank you for taking me back to Paris. I think Musee Rodin and Hotel Biron might just be in my top 5 of favourite Paris museums! Did you know the dancer Isadora Duncan lived in the house at one stage? So much history.

    • Well, well… Thank you Christine. I just learnt 2 things: the name of the “Hotel”, to me it was always the “Musée Rodin”. And that Isadora Duncan had worked there. Next time I go I can imagine her strolling and or dancing in the gardens. Thank you, merci and Merry Christmas… 🎄
      (PS. what are your other 4 fave museums in Paris?)

      • Love Marmottan. L’Orangerie is wonderful for its Monet fresques. Petit-Palais: Haven’t gone in ages. Must remedy that. Jacquemart-André, still on my to-do list. Have you visited Gustave Moreau?

      • No but I have a book from the museum. It was closed last time I was there sadly. I like petite Palais for the winter garden and it’s lovely cafe. The collection is compact and I often tell people who don’t have a lot of time to go there instead of the louvre if the queue is too long.

  10. Every now and then, I can become struck by a piece of art that moves me ~ moves my mind. The head carved out of massive piece of marble does this for me, answers a question of beauty/mystery and then leaves me with a thousand more questions to wonder about. Awesome feeling.

    • That’s what Art does. An expression of a distinct mind. Rodin’s in this case. And that particular head emerging form this huge block of marble is mind-blowing.
      Art? Could it be the answer to the world’s current woes? Worth a shot.
      Thanks fro your visit and comments my friend.

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