Experiencing the Art of Auguste Rodin

Experiencing the Art of Auguste Rodin

by Nicole Yu '18

Art comes in many forms, whether that be paintings, sculptures, statues, music or even dance. A few weeks ago, the French 4AP class had the privilege of visiting Stanford University’s Auguste Rodin sculpture collection. The art pieces we studied included The Three Shades, The Thinker, The Gates of Hell, and The Burghers of Calais. The sculpure garden was dedicated in 1985 to honor B. Gerald Cantor, the primary donor of the Center's Rodin collection.  The original garden plan was designed by Robert Mittelstadt, who evoked the spirit of the Parisian gardens in which Rodin exhibited his public art during his lifetime.

To prepare for the trip Ms. Lipps, the French 4AP teacher, taught us about Auguste Rodin, a famous French artist, and the history of his sculptures. We learned that The Gates of Hell were based on Dante’s Inferno and the Burghers of Calais were created to commemorate the bravery of six civilians in the city of Calais for the sacrifice of their lives to save the lives of everyone else in the city. 

It was an amazing experience to be able to see pictures on a computer screen come to life at Stanford University. The sculptures had rough, unrefined edges that a two dimensional picture could never capture. To be given the opportunity to walk around the Burghers of Calais made us feel so immersed in the art.