Auguste Rodin: Re-shaping the French Sculptural Imagination

19 Sep 2017

On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, we were joined again by Larissa Baliff to discuss the work of Auguste Rodin.

2017 marks the centenary of French sculptor Auguste Rodin’s death. This occasion is being commemorated with exhibitions around the world, including one opening in mid-September at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Our talk will explore the life and work of the artist responsible for creating such iconic works as The Gates of Hell, The Burghers of Calais, The Thinker, and The Kiss.

Throughout his career, Rodin was a lightning rod for controversy and gossip–both personal and professional. Fueled by a fertile and impassioned imagination, his radicality went completely against the grain of the academic tradition–attracting frequent derision, but also, over time, shifting public opinion towards a greater acceptance of modernism. Eroticizing his subjects, repurposing his own figures in completely unexpected ways, and rejecting the prevalent idealism in favor of something much more powerfully raw and expressive, the artist could eventually lay claim to have entirely re-shaped the idiom of 19th-century sculpture.

Refreshments will be served. Can’t make the live event? Check out the video recording at

About the Presenter

Larissa Bailiff is a specialist in modern French art and social history. Formerly an associate educator at MoMA, she continues to offer tours and courses at the museum. For the last three years, she has also worked for Boulevard Arts, an immersive arts technology company, where she creates cultural content for virtual and mixed reality platforms.

Download this video: ( MP4 )

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