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Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Artlyst - Rodin: Suffering And Conflict – Tate Modern

My latest review for Artlyst is of The Making of Rodin at Tate Modern:

'Rodin learnt from Michelangelo’s ability to show internal pain and suffering through the gestures of the whole body noting that, ‘It is Michelangelo who has freed me from academic sculpture.’ In describing the greatness of Michelangelo, it was experience of suffering that was emphasised: ‘Michelangelo was only the last and greatest of the Gothics. The turning in of the soul upon itself, suffering, a disgust with life, struggle against the chains of matter, such are the elements of his inspiration … he himself has been tortured by melancholy.’

Rodin also saw suffering and conflict as characteristic of modern art, saying, ‘Nothing is more moving than the maddened beast, dying from unfulfilled desire and asking in vain for grace to quell its passion.’ As Rachel Corbett notes in ‘You Must Change Your Life,’ her biography of Rodin and his secretary, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, to Rodin’ punishment was the condition of the living’ as his vision of Dante’s hell ‘mirrored the realities of life in Paris at the fin de siècle‘ because its inhabitants were ‘living in a nightmare of their own earthly passions.’

My other pieces for Artlyst are:

Interviews -

Articles -

This Picture - Death's Sweet Religion.

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