RODIN: A Biography by Frederic V. Grunfeld

RODIN: A Biography

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A vibrant biography of the great French sculptor (the first in over half a century) by a contributing editor of Connoisseur and author of Prophets Without Honor (1979). With all the naturalistic detail and color of canvases by his subject's contemporaries, Zola and Monet, Grunfeld chronicles Rodin's rocky career: his birth to poor parents in hard-times Paris; his early struggles with the ossified officialdom of the Ecole des Beaux Arts; his happy six years' apprenticeship in Belgium (with its dual catalysts of Rubens and Flemish light); his epiphanic visitation to Italy and the shrine of Michelangelo; and, finally, the trials and tribulations of his later years, when, publicly, his commissioned monuments caused riots in the streets, and privately, his Rabelaisian appetite for female flesh--the passionate ""need to touch"" that accounts in no small part, Grunfeld notes, for the beckoning sensuality, the ""touch. me"" tactility of his sculpture--involved the satyrical ""priapatriarch of the Paris art World"" in countless amatory imbroglios. That this exhaustive catalogue is never dull is something of a feat: from an unshaped mass of documentary material quarried from as far afield as America, England, and France, Grunfeld's Rodin, modeled in high relief against his place and time, emerges not so much a statuary monument as a three-dimensional man.

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 1987
Publisher: Henry Holt