Rodin: A Biography

By Frederick V. Grunfeld
Read by Simon Vance

27.03 Hours 12/01/1998 unabridged
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Auguste Rodin was not only the greatest sculptor—known for such works as The Thinker, The KissThe Hand of God, and dozens of others—but also one of the most remarkable personalities of modern times. He was an artist who outraged contemporaries with his disturbingly unfinished monuments, a sensualist who shocked France with his scandalous relationships, and a friend to the most gifted writers and artists of his day. Frederic V. Grunfeld’s exhaustive biography documents a lifetime of both artistic and personal struggle—against poverty, against the conservative Paris Salon, and against an art establishment that for years denied him recognition. Rodin’s crucial love affair with his pupil Camille Claudel emerges here in all its tragic complexity, as do his relationships with the British painter Gwen John and the American-born duchess Claire de Choiseul. Grunfeld also sheds new light on Rodin’s friendships with such figures as Robert Louis Stevenson, George Bernard Shaw, Émile Zola, and James McNeill Whistler. Beautifully written, Rodin is the definitive biography of a man whose influence on sculpture was as profound as Michelangelo’s.

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Summary

Summary

Auguste Rodin was not only the greatest sculptor—known for such works as The Thinker, The KissThe Hand of God, and dozens of others—but also one of the most remarkable personalities of modern times. He was an artist who outraged contemporaries with his disturbingly unfinished monuments, a sensualist who shocked France with his scandalous relationships, and a friend to the most gifted writers and artists of his day. Frederic V. Grunfeld’s exhaustive biography documents a lifetime of both artistic and personal struggle—against poverty, against the conservative Paris Salon, and against an art establishment that for years denied him recognition.

Rodin’s crucial love affair with his pupil Camille Claudel emerges here in all its tragic complexity, as do his relationships with the British painter Gwen John and the American-born duchess Claire de Choiseul. Grunfeld also sheds new light on Rodin’s friendships with such figures as Robert Louis Stevenson, George Bernard Shaw, Émile Zola, and James McNeill Whistler.

Beautifully written, Rodin is the definitive biography of a man whose influence on sculpture was as profound as Michelangelo’s.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“An excellent job…Will undoubtedly serve as an excellent biography of the artist.” New York Times Book Review
“Well researched…A marvelous roster of personalities, politicians, writers, and artists of the time pass through the pages of the book, placing Rodin in the mainstream of the cultural life of the Third Republic.” Los Angeles Times
“A vibrant biography…That this exhaustive catalogue is never dull is something of a feat: from an unshaped mass of documentary material quarried from as far afield as America, England, and France, Grunfeld’s Rodin, modeled in high relief against his place and time, emerges not so much a statuary monument as a three-dimensional man.” Kirkus Reviews
“[Vance’s] clipped British accent and light alto voice lend an intelligent and sustained reading. Listeners will come away with an appreciative understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of this singular personality and also with a real feel for the flavor of the times in which he lived and worked.”  Kliatt

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Frederic V. Grunfeld

Frederic V. Grunfeld (1929–1987) was an author and journalist who spent three decades as a cultural correspondent in Europe. In addition to his biography on Rodin, he wrote The Art and Times of the Guitar, The Hitler File: A Social History of Germany and the Nazis, 1918–1945, and Prophets without Honour: A Background to Freud, Kafka, Einstein, and Their World.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Drama/Performing Arts
Runtime: 27.03
Audience: Adult
Language: English