The last years

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Youth and education | The great years of creation | A turning point | The last years

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1909 | 1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913 | 1914 | 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1919

The Hôtel Biron1909 ^

The French government announces its decision to sell the Hôtel Biron estate. Rodin does his utmost to save the mansion and starts negotiating with the state.

Charles Berthelommier, The Hôtel Biron, circa 1910, [Ph.01381]

Initial project for the Rodin Donation to the French nation, drawn up by the lawyer and politician Paul Escudier (1858-1931), who supports Rodin’s initiative.

Large exhibition of Rodin’s drawings at the Galerie Devambez, Paris.


1910 ^

Rodin is named Grand Officier of the Legion of Honour.

Exhibition of his drawings in the meeting room of the periodical Gil Blas, in Paris.

Walking Man in the courtyard of the Palazzo Farnese, Rome1911 ^

Exhibition at the Prussian Academy of Arts, Berlin.

The French government commissions the Bust of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes for the Panthéon.

The Burghers of Calais are purchased by England and installed in the gardens of Westminster.

Walking Man is erected in the courtyard of the Palazzo Farnese, Rome.

Cesare Faraglia, Walking Man in the courtyard of the Palazzo Farnese, Rome, circa 1912, [Ph.01110]


Publication of Art: Conversations with Paul Gsell (1870-1947), the journalist, man of letters and art critic.

Portrait of Rodin1912 ^

“Rodin” exhibition in Tokyo, Japan.

Exhibition of Rodin’s drawings at the new public library in Lyon, France.

Inauguration of the Rodin Room at the Metropolitan Museum of New York.

Henri Manuel, Portrait of Rodin, 1912, [Ph.14853]


Rodin’s collection of antiques1913 ^

Exhibition at the Faculté de Médecine, Paris, where antiques from Rodin’s collection appear for the first time.

Rodin travels to London to see the installation of The Burghers of Calais outside the Houses of Parliament.

Eugène Druet, Rodin’s collection of antiques, 1913, [Ph.02425]


Rodin at John Marshall’s home in Rome1914 ^

Compiling his notes full of poetic descriptions of Gothic churches, jotted down on his travels all through his life, Rodin publishes his book Les Cathédrales de France, illustrated with 100 reproductions of his drawings, printed by the lithographer Auguste Clot, with a preface by Charles Morice (1860-1919).

Fleeing the war, Rodin heads for England with Rose and Judith Cladel, then moves on to Rome, where he enjoys a gracious lifestyle and takes immense pleasure in rediscovering the city’s beauty. He spends almost all his time drawing.

John Marshall, Rodin at John Marshall’s home in Rome, dec 1914, [Ph.01129]


Bust of the Pope Benedict XV1915 ^

Makes another trip to Rome, during which he visits Benedict XV, having been commissioned to execute a portrait bust of the new pope.

Auguste Rodin, Bust of the Pope Benedict XV, [S.1198]

The Burghers of Calais, purchased by England in 1912, is quietly unveiled in Victoria Gardens, outside the Houses of Parliament, London, in July.

Exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, of sixteen of the eighteen sculptures that Rodin donated to England.


Bust of Étienne Clémentel1916 ^

Rodin commences his final work (which remained unfinished), the Bust of Etienne Clémentel (bronze, Musée Rodin, Paris), then Minister of Trade, Industry, Post and Telegraph, to thank him for the decisive role he played in restarting negotiations for the founding of a Rodin museum.

Auguste Rodin, Bust of Étienne Clémentel, bronze, 1916, [S.1366]


The sculptor is seriously ill. A stroke has left him in a state of mental lethargy; the damage is irreversible.

He offers to donate all his works to the French nation in three stages (1 April, 13 September, 25 October), on condition that the Hôtel Biron is converted into a museum in his honour. The Chambre des Députés, then the Sénat, accept the donation and the Assemblée Nationale vote in the establishment of the Musée Rodin in the Hôtel Biron.

Holland commissions a monument to commemorate the defense of Verdun.

Rodin's funeral1917 ^

Rodin marries Rose Beuret on 29 January in Meudon, two weeks before her death on 14 February.

Death of Auguste Rodin on 17 November. He is buried on 24 November beside Rose in Meudon. A large-scale cast of The Thinker is erected on their grave.

Pierre Choumoff, Rodin's funeral, 24 nov 1917, [Ph.1009]


1919 ^

The Musée Rodin opens to the public on 4 August.

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