The Gates Of Hell

The Gates Of Hell

Albert Einstein once said; “True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist” (Art). This quote can define many artists over time, especially Auguste Rodin. Rodin was an incredibly talented sculptor of the nineteenth century. He created many well known pieces including “The Thinker” and “The Kiss”. Rodin was also commissioned to create “The Gates of Hell” in 1880. “The Gates” were one of Rodin’s most ambitious pieces. After twenty years of hard work, it was still not complete, but Rodin was finished. “The Gates of Hell” stand approximately twenty one feet high and are emotionally enveloping. The intensity and emotion that Rodin created within “The Gates” is one that shows what life is like after death. Rodin was born in 1840 in Paris. At the age of fourteen he was enrolled in the government Ecole Speciale de Dessin et de Mathematiques, a school for French industrial workers. Rodin applied to the famous Ecole des Beaux-Arts three times but was never accepted. He began working as a decorative sculptor after he graduated in 1857. As an assistant to France’s premier sculptor Belleuse, Rodin learned many skills. In 1875 Rodin visited Italy to study the work of Michelangelo. He was infatuated with Michelangelo’s “unfinished” sculptures; how the figures and their emotions seemed to emerge from the block. These ideas captured Rodin’s interests and were later applied to his work. Rodin returned to Paris two years later to exhibit his “Age of Bronze” sculpture. It was incredibly lifelike in that every muscle and movement of the body was captured. He was thrown into the spotlight, being falsely accused of casting a live model instead of creating his own work. On the other hand, there were people who loved the work by Rodin and were excited to see what else he would create. In 1880, Rodin was commissioned to create “The Gates of Hell” for the Museum of Decorative A…


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