PRINT December 1984


Auguste Rodin, Art of the City, Art, Maps of the Heavens, and The Sketchbooks of Hiroshige

ELEVEN TOPICS ARE DISCUSSED in these conversations between Auguste Rodin and the critic Paul Gsell, set like a Socratic walk in the garden with the white-robed “Master” presenting his wisdom to a respectful chronicler. Mannered and self-righteous, Rodin expands about the true and the good, and if to our jaded sensibilities he sounds pompous, his stature allows him this. More readable than the long-winded earlier translation, this new English rendering is more than a period piece or a source for Rodin scholars. While it is hard to undo the memory of the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Rodin piece, the sculptor has much to say and his range is almost as impressive as he himself obviously believed. A discussion of the work of Phidias and Michelangelo indicates his thorough knowledge of the past, and his comment on photography (“It is the artist who tells the truth and the photograph that lies.

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