‘Rodin’ Shines As A Story Of Both Artist And Art : NPR

While many biographies of artists focus on their tortured personal lives, Rodin maintains a close focus on sculpture itself and what makes it last.

Deep into Rodin, Jacques Doillon’s quietly satisfying portrait of the famed French sculptor, a group of stuffy sponsors circles Auguste Rodin’s almost completed statue of France’s beloved novelist Honore de Balzac. Rodin (Vincent Lindon) has given the writer an enormous gut (he used a pregnant young woman and a draft horse rider as models for the belly), which the artist made capacious enough to house, in his imagination, the teeming characters who peopled the 19th-century writer’s stories. And, perhaps, his appetites.[ . . . ]

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“Rodin” – a film by Jacques Doillon

In Paris, 1880, forty-year-old Auguste Rodin at last receives his first state commission: The Gates of Hell, a sculptural group work composed of many figures, some of which would be the basis of free-standing sculptures that would later bring him fame, such as The Kiss and The Thinker. At the time, he shares his life with Rose, his longtime companion. He meets young Camille Claudel, his most talented student, who quickly becomes his assistant, then his mistress. Ten years of passion, but also of mutual admiration and complicity. After their break-up, Rodin relentlessly pursues his work, coping with the rejection and the enthusiasm provoked by the sensuality of his sculptures, and with his Balzac, rejected during his lifetime, he creates the uncontested departure point of modern sculpture | More at UniFrance