Polished bronze male figure, thin, nude, arm bend upwards

Why Rodin? The Creation of Modern Sculpture (Saturdays)

CMOA Theater

General $50, Student $30, Member $40


This class is also available on Wednesday, October 19 and 26.

Auguste Rodin died 100 years ago, but his influence is still felt today. We will explore in this two-session class what role the French master played in the renewal of sculpture at the turn of the 20th century. The class will provide an historical and stylistic understanding of 19th-century sculpture through the examination of major sculptural works in the CMOA collection by such artists as Antonio Canova, Constantin Meunier, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and Ernest Carrier-Belleuse. We will also examine Rodin's artistic innovations, from his first commissions as an apprentice of French master Carrier-Belleuse, to his career-long opus, The Gates of Hell.

Rodin’s use of the partial figure, as well as his processes of multiplication, repetition, and fragmentation, established him as the sculptor who broke with the boundaries of 19th-century sculptural traditions. His new artistic language stoked controversy, and faced withering criticism from many of his contemporaries, as in the case of the Age of Bronze, or the Balzac monument.

In addition to covering Rodin’s artistic production, this class will also address questions of patronage, materiality, studio practice, exhibition display, and reproduction in sculpture, while examining Rodin’s monumental projects, and selected examples of private portraits.

About the Instructor

Clarisse Fava-Piz is a PhD candidate in art history at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests encompass the study of artistic exchanges, the history of the art market, and connoisseurship in the 19th century, with a particular focus on sculpture. Clarisse received her MA in art history from the Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, and her BA in art history from the Université Paris Sorbonne. She has worked at the Getty Research Institute, the National Gallery of Art, and the National Institute of Art History.

Registration Information

This class is also available on Wednesday, October 19 and 26.