Saturday, 24 May 2014

The Rodin Museum (Second Day Paris)

So, there are a few things to mention about the Musée d'Orsay: When I bought my ticket I had a choice to combine it with the Orangerie (except that this museum was closed on that day) or the Rodin museum. I remembered the Rodin museum, so I probably could have spent my afternoon doing something else, but I decided to purchase the latter combined ticket.

The special exhibit at the Musée d'Orsay had a very interesting show relating to Antonin Artaud's condemnation of Psychology as being responsible for the suicide of Vincent Van Gogh. I vaguely remember reading Artaud's Theater and Its Double in college, so I found the exhibit interesting (although I think it said more about Artaud than Van Gogh.)

Artaud was quite a handsome young man and they showed clips from his films  in the show (mostly silents, but he also did some talkies).

He suffered psychological issues himself and I suspect his indictment of psychology had more to do with his own treatment and feeling of being an outsider than with Van Gogh's, but Artaud felt that Van Gogh's doctor in Arles was responsible for his suicide along with a society that did not understand a person who saw the world so differently. (From all I can tell, Van Gogh's doctor was a caring man, so I just don't know about this.)

I will say that I saw a picture that impressed me immensely - a late sunflower picture that resembled the one below in steel gray/blue green colors. It seemed to glisten like metal. It was amazing and very subtle in coloration, not the bright colorful pictures of Van Gogh's early years.

I also had lunch at the Louvre, a caesar salad and creme brulé - with coffee crema. The hostess sat most of the Americans in a little line of tables and I sat between an Ohian Art prof who was teaching American students for a month in Paris and a couple (man and woman) from Mississippi. There were Californians at the next table in our little American Ghetto. The Mississippians were there because the man's son was playing with an American swing band that had been invited to France. (Remember that swing band in the Jardin du Luxembourg!!) They said he played the great big (I think it was) saxophone.  They were a nice older couple - not married (interestingly enough) and the man was fascinated with war stuff and had brought his (girl)friend along to see the battle fields and military museums of France.

So after the Musée d'Orsay I headed off for the other museum (getting lost as usual and dragging a 20 minute walk out for an hour.) That weird object was still haunting me:

Finally I found the museum.

I stood in line as usual and eventually we were let into a building and then out into a court yard with large sculptures and portions of sculptures.

I was thinking this was Rodin's sculpture on the Burger of Calais, but they don't all seem to be there.

Everyone knows this piece!

Look there's that weird antenna again!  Now it's plaguing the thinker. I think he needs a tin foil hat to interfere with the alien radio waves.

From the courtyard we lined up for another building. I was behind a very interesting Australian couple. The husband was a real radical firebrand and we had a great conversation, but you could ell his wife wished he would quit talking politics. It rained off and on.  

Rodin was really very talented even at traditional art. I love this piece below and realize that others would never have considered him a great artist if he hadn't developed that personal style, but still I really appreciate the sensitivity of this terra cotta piece.

The exhibit had maquettes of The Kiss (and other pieces too).

I'll just post a variety  of pieces that I saw in the gallery.

This one is called Les Ombres.

I believe this is the original used for making a cast. It has a certain attractive quality with its hodgepodge of clays.

Out door in the garden there were all kinds of statues to be discovered as you walked around.

Here's a better view of the back garden. Rodin worked on a gorgeous estate.

There were walking paths in the garden with sculptures set throughout.

They also showed  some of the plaster molds and had pictures of Rodin in his studio
One of his most stunning pieces is the Gates of Hell (for which the thinker was originally planned. (You'll find him top center under the three figures).)

I found it hard to photograph the dark bronze in a way that it could be seen, but here is a detail.

and here is one of my favorite pieces. It's Balzac. (I had to explain to the Americans in the D'Orsay who Balzac was  (there was a copy of it there too). I think Rodin captures his scandalous wickedness beautifully.

After this exhibit I went back into the main building where they had the special exhibit. It was a lovely coparison of Robert Maplethorpe's use of the body with Rodin's. I did not feel it was appropriate to take pictures of the photographs, but here are some of the photos that they have been using to advertise the exhibition.

You can see that it was quite an intriguing (and convincing) juxtaposition.

It had categories like black and white, hands and draping.

I was SO tired after that, so I was ready to go home. On the way out I passed by the ladies of the Museum D'Orsay and then made the long walk in the direction of the hotel. (But of course there were still more interesting things to look at on the way "home."

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