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The poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, “Rodin was solitary before he was famous. And fame, when it arrived, made him perhaps even more solitary. For in the end fame is no more than the sum of all the misunderstandings that gather around a new name.”
Figure assie sur fond jaune [Seated Figure on Yellow Background] could not be further from the stereotype of Rodin as an energetic and powerful artist. More than a figure, Rodin drew the reclined woman’s movement through graceful strokes as she was engaged in the act of feeding some birds. She doesn’t seem static or frozen; she amasses corporeal vibrations.
In the early 1890s, when Rodin was able to pay models to pose for him, he worked in an unusual way: he allowed them to move freely through the room so that he could capture this sense of spontaneity in his work.
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