The exhibition Rodin: the Laboratory of Creation will let us into the secret of the sculptor’s studio ─ a veritable laboratory of creation and the crucible of his oeuvre.
A unique selection of some 150 plaster and terracotta works, many of which have never been shown before, will be taken from the storeroom for this special event. These pieces illustrate the advance of the sculptor’s extraordinary career. Visitors will be drawn into the heart of the creative process; by observing, they will gain insight into Rodin’s formal thinking ─ the paths he followed, the hesitations he experienced and the flashes of brilliance that lit his way.
The Gates of Hell, the monuments to the Burghers of Calais or to Victor Hugo, Balzac, James McNeill Whistler… Rodin’s most famous and accomplished works gradually emerge from his mind and hands. They represent the culmination of prodigious efforts and numerous preparatory works: studies and sketches in vigorously kneaded clay, maquettes and plaster models that were used to make series of casts which were reworked until the final version was obtained…
Rodin’s sculptures come into being before our eyes: faces acquire expression, nudes adopt their poses before being clothed in drapery, and bozzetti ─ individual body parts such as heads, hands, arms and feet ─ are given individual attention, modeled into their own positions then incorporated into the final figure. With every new project, the artist is gripped by a creative frenzy, a burgeoning of his imagination as it probes, explores and experiments.
The series formed by the final works and by the studies and models preceding their creation will be supplemented with photographs taken in Rodin’s studios, or touched up by the artist to clarify an idea, find a profile or develop a composition. In a sense, therefore, the exhibition will highlight the path to the final “masterpiece.”