Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)
Letter from Auguste Rodin to Claude Monet
1897 (22 September)
Ink on paper
H. 14 cm ; W. 26.1 cm
Rodin and Monet’s friendship is known to have existed even before the famous exhibition in 1889 to promote the two leading artists of the day. At the time, Rodin was feeling extremely vulnerable, shaken both by the break-up of his relationship with Camille Claudel and the repeated complaints from the Société des Gens de Lettres, who had commissioned the Monument to Balzac and whose impatience was exacerbated by years of waiting. In the face of this general lack of understanding, Rodin again found support from his admirers and loyal friends.
This letter, acquired in 2006, reveals the artistic rapport and the friendship that united the two men. It is moving testimony to the sculptor’s admiration for the painter and his oeuvre, a feeling that Rodin seldom – perhaps never – expressed so clearly or so elegantly : “the same feeling of fraternity, the same love of art, has made us friends for ever… I still have the same admiration for the artist who helped me understand light, clouds, the sea, the Cathedrals that I already loved so much,but whose beauty awakened at dawn by your rendering touched me so deeply.”