La Faunesse à genoux [Kneeling fauness]

Auguste RODIN: artist

Not On Display

About the work

One of the greatest sculptors of all time, Rodin revolutionised the art, broke down the rigid traditions which had bound sculpture to academic conventions and opened the way to new ideas. Born in the working-class quarter of Paris, his great gifts were discernible at boyhood particularly in his drawing ability. However, he was sent to a school for training in the application of artistic skills to industries. He worked at various crafts to earn money and spent several years in Belgium doing architectural decoration and making ornamental figurines. This was a period of mastering technique and included a trip to Italy to study Donatello and Michelangelo whom he revered all his life.

The sculpture resulting from this enthusiasm, The Age of Bronze, was spitefully said to be a mould of the model and aroused the first of many controversies about his work. In Paris, public recognition came in 1880 when the Government commissioned the doors which were to become famous as The Gates of Hell and to occupy Rodin for twenty years.

His talents were such that he excelled in all branches of art, painting, etching, ceramics (he was employed for several years at the Sevres factory) and, greatly interested in architecture, he produced a book Les Cathedrales de France, illustrated by his drawings.

Rodin had to endure derision and scathing comments from conservative critics and his magnificent monuments to The Burghers of Calais, Balzac, Victor Hugo and the superb carving The Kiss all roused outcries of condemnation from a public lacking discernment for such powerful expressions of spirit, reaching to the roots of human experience.

In the Universal Exposition of 1900 he prepared his Rodin Pavilion to display a comprehensive collection and this was re-erected in the Paris suburb of Meudon, where he had settled to work in peace. From then his fame continued to grow and the bequest to the State of his works, now housed in the Musee Rodin, is a permanent monument to his genius.

Ella Fry, Gallery Images, St George Books, Perth, 1984
La Faunesse à genoux [Kneeling fauness]
Artist/Maker and role
Auguste RODIN: artist
c 1880
55 x 21 x 28 cm
Credit line
Purchased 1963
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the sculptures in our collection.