Even people who know nothing about art know the works of Auguste Rodin. The French sculptor who created "The Thinker" and "The Kiss" was born on this day in 1840. Google has created a blue-tinted homage to the sculpture on the occasion of the artist's birthday.
"The Thinker" (Le Penseur) was first created in 1902, though there are many other casts of the famous sculpture. Rodin's sculpture of Honore de Balzac also exists in many versions, including casts at New York's Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Norton Simon Museum of Art in Pasadena.
Rodin's sculptures emphasize musculature and movement, with subjects often assuming contorted and anguished poses. His work is often viewed as paving the way for modern sculpture of the 20th century.
Though his love life was not as torrid as Picasso's, Rodin had an amour fou with fellow artist Camille Claudel that has inspired some contemporary dramatizations. The 1989 movie "Camille Claudel" features outstanding performances from Isabelle Adjani in the title role and Gerard Depardieu as Rodin.
A new movie about Claudel, starring Juliette Binoche and directed by Bruno Dumont, is expected to be released next year. The movie is set during her long stay in a mental hospital following her break from Rodin.
There's even a ballet about the stormy Rodin-Claudel relationship created by the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg. "Rodin" -- which was panned by the New York Times earlier this year -- will have its West Coast premiere May 3 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.
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