Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Nude in Western Art: Part Three

In Part One we saw nude sculpture by Michelangelo.  In Part Two we saw a sculpted Renoir nude.  But the master of nude sculpture in my opinion was Auguste Rodin, who was a contemporary of Renoir.  Rodin is the father of modern sculpture.  His work is exquisite as Jennifer and I got to witness at the National Gallery of Art last summer.  There are many Rodin nudes and there are many Rodin sketches of an erotic nature.  This post mostly features Rodin nudes collected in my Art Authority app.
The Age of Bronze.  1876.  This was a controversial work at that time.  Not for being a nude but for artistic reasons.  Rodin was bucking art tradition in his work and the orthodox did not care for him.
St. John the Baptist Preaching.  1878-1880.  You are unlikely to see this subject depicted in this way anywhere else in art. Perhaps inspired by Michelangelo's David.
The Thinker.  Rodin cast many of these after his initial sculpture was completed in 1880.  The casts run through 1902. Rodin made many versions of most of the pieces in this post. Some depicted in both marbles and bronzes. This sculpture is obviously one of the most famous pieces in Western Art. It is easy to overlook that The Thinker is a nude.
Eve.  1881.  A large bronze.
The Kiss.  1882.  A delicate, beautiful marble on display in Paris.
Eternal Springtime.  1884.  One of my favorites, there is erotic energy for me here.
The Old Courtesan.  1885.  An honest elderly nude.
Love Fleeing (Fugit Amor). c. 1887-1900.  I am partial to this design.  Love is a provocatively posed female nude just escaping the grasp of a desirous male nude falling backwards, turned the wrong way to hold on to the female.  There are bronze versions of this work as well. 
Eternal Spring. 1906-1907.  A great variation on Eternal Springtime above.
Poet and Muse. c. 1905.  Perhaps my favorite Rodin nude.  This strikes me as a more romantic than erotic work.
Psyche (Pomona).  c. 1905.  A wonderful marble sculpture.
1905.  Romeo and Juliet.  Sensuous.   
An amazing nude in watercolor, pencil, and paper.  Date unknown.  Seated nude bending over.  As mentioned in the introduction to this post, Rodin sketched many erotic nudes, including nudes having sex; though he never actually sculpted any of these ideas that I am aware of.

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