Canary Wharf is shaping up to present the work of a sculptor a hundred years after his death.
Auguste Rene Rodin was one of the most famous contributors to visual art and created of the celebrated work The Thinker which has permeated popular culture.
An Exhibition In Celebration Of 100 Years: François Auguste René Rodin (1840–1917) will showcase a series of sculptures and drawings, including a rare cast of Eternal Spring. Placed in the lobby of One Canada Square it runs from September 18-November 10.
The exhibition aims to highlight the works of an artist who, by the time of his death, was likened to Michelangelo. On show will be casts of some of Rodin’s most coveted pieces, including The Thinker, The Kiss, Balzac and Man With A Broken Nose. It will also exhibit letters and drawings by Rodin, rarely on show to the public.
Sally Williams, public art consultant for Canary Wharf Group, said: “Rodin was a seminal artist, and we are delighted to be honouring his work during the centenary year. His work paved the way for many modern sculptors.”
Eternal Spring, conceived in 1884, was cast under Rodin’s supervision. The work represents the tragic love story of Paolo and Francesca, as told in Dante’s Inferno. It is believed that the piece might first have been intended to be part of the larger commission Gates Of Hell, but once created, the depiction of love and happiness in the piece was deemed too euphoric for the tragedy being played out in the first part of Dante’s epic poem, The Divine Comedy. Originally carved in marble, this piece is bronze and signed by Rodin himself.
Perhaps Rodin’s most famous piece, The Thinker, was conceived in 1880 and inspired by Michelangelo. Combining both the compositional influences of Michelangelo with Rodin’s own modelling, the statue is now often used as an image to represent philosophy. On show will be a bronze cast executed circa 1925.
The Kiss was originally one of the sculptures depicted on the Gates Of Hell. Inspired by the story of Paolo and Francesca, this work is considered an iconic image of love and passion and is one of the world’s most recognisable sculptures. The bronze cast on show was made in 1904.
A monument to the French playwright and novelist, Honoré Balzac, this piece was intended to represent the writer’s persona rather than appearance. Commissioned by the Société des Gens de Lettres, the sculpture was originally rejected, only to be shown again years after the sculptor’s death. The bronze bust on show at Canary Wharf was cast between 1918 and1927.
Man with a Broken Nose
Man With A Broken Nose is considered to be one of Rodin’s first major pieces. Created between 1863 and 1864, the piece is based on a local handyman, Bibi, who was depicted by Rodin without flattery, broken nose and all. The example on show was cast in bronze between 1919 and 1923.