Hell according to Rodin

Art
3 out of 5 stars
Hell according to Rodin

An unknown sculptor who didn't even manage to get into the Fine Arts School, Auguste Rodin (Paris, 1840 – Meudon, 1917) was commissioned with a modest task in 1880: create a door for the future museum of decorative arts in Paris, inspired by Dante's 'Divine Comedy'.

Rodin would spend most of his life on this job. The museum would never be built... and the doors would never make it to the plaster mould. Once Rodin died, some of the works were cast in bronze, turning all of the work into a process. Nothing was ever considered finished, and the figures evolved from the story of the 'Divine Comedy' into universal situations: Minos, overseer of the underworld, becomes the Dante-inspired thinker; Paolo and Francesca, infidels surprised and murdered by her husband, two lovers kissing; Count Ugolino, condemned to watch his children die of hunger and then made to eat them, is shown as desperation...

Hell is Rodin's great quarry, where what's important is the universalisation of the human condition in the advent of modernity. Pity that, in this current exhibition, this is so difficult to recognise.

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