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Arts > Works by Rodin and his classical idol side by side at the British Museum

10 May 2018 | by Laura Gascoigne

Works by Rodin and his classical idol side by side at the British Museum

Rodin's The Kiss (right) alongside two headless reclining goddesses

 

“No artist,” declared Auguste Rodin, in 1911, “will ever surpass Pheidias. The greatest of the sculptors, who appeared at a time when the entire human dream could be contained in the pediment of a temple, will never be equalled.”

Since his student days Rodin had sought out fragments of the Parthenon sculptures attributed to the Athenian master in museums across Europe, but his favourite port of call was the British Museum. He was 40 when he first saw the Elgin Marbles in 1881, the year after winning his first monumental commission from the French state for The Gates of Hell. In the years that followed, he never visited London without paying his respects. “In my spare time I simply haunt the British Museum,” he told a British journalist in 1903.





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