French Sculptor Auguste Rodin is generally considered the Father of Modern Sculpture. In September I was lucky enough to visit an exhibition of his work organised by Iain Brunt at One Canada Square, Canary Wharf which is an exciting concept building and provides an exceptional space to display sculpture exhibitions.
For the first time I saw the maquette for The Burghers of Calais, one of Rodin’s most famous sculptures commissioned in 1884 by Calais to commemorate the siege of their Port during the Hundred Years War.
A maquette is a small scale model of an unfinished sculpture. A three dimensional sketch. It allows the artist to try and visualise and test out ideas for the composition during the creative process without incurring the huge costs of producing a full size model. Most sculptures of this period are highly impressive but quite often the maquettes are even more impressive. This was one such case.
The last small cast bronze figures showed all the verve, life and skill of the sculptor without the high finished detail. It is as important in my mind as the finished sculpture and is a vital part of the artistic process. Would be consider a Da Vinci sketch art? If course we would and these beautiful maquettes deserve the same title.
It is a magnificent piece and the highlight of my visit to a wonderful exhibition.
John Stocks – www.amfineart.co.uk
This exhibition celebrating 100 years of Auguste Rodin continues until 10 November 2017 7am – 8pm at the Lobby, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB.