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Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)
Golden Twilight on the Dunes in the Forest of Soignes
Between 1871 and 1877
Oil on paper mounted on cardboard
H. 27 cm ; W. 34 cm
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In this landscape, which may recall Gustave Moreau’s quasi-abstract sketches or the visionary quality of Turner’s atmospheric works, Rodin’s handling is so free that the motif seems to dissolve into the vague patches of warm colour. When discussing this type of work, the journalist Sander Pierron spoke of “cosmic impressions” or “the symphonic richness of polychromy, combined with a poetry that characterizes a clearing in autumn,” (Pierron, 1935).
Rodin’s experiments with painting did not last very long, as Rilke pointed out : “In the beginning [Rodin] set up his easel anywhere, and painted. He soon realized that in so doing everything escaped his attention: life, scope, metamorphoses, the trees growing larger, the mist coming down, all the harmonious variety of events; he realized that when painting, he was exposed to the world like a hunter confronted by his prey, whereas when observing the world, he was part of it…” (Rilke, 1905).