The Wilson have recently put on display their new Rodin sculpture of a modern dancer. As part of my internship in the Collections department, I wrote the label for this wonderful artwork. Here it is below:
Auguste Rodin (1840 – 1917)
Dance Movement E, about 1911
Bronze, edition of 11
Rodin was inspired by modern dance. This led him to experiment with attempting to capture the essence of the body in movement. He was particularly fascinated by Alda Moreno, an acrobat and dancer at the Opéra Comique, Paris, who became his regular model from 1910 to 1913.
This interpretation of dance marks one of Rodin’s later, largely private, investigations. Dance Movement E is one of a series of nine, known collectively as Dance Movements and individually labelled A to I. These sculptures were not shown in Rodin’s lifetime, but cast posthumously in bronze.
Rodin rarely took traditional anatomic rules into consideration. Instead, he created increasingly abstract sculptures, noting the shapes produced by flexible body parts at specific expressive moments. His rough treatment of surface detail is also a crucial aspect of his unique style, and adds to the tactile and dynamic qualities of his work. In this way, Rodin strove to introduce innovative uses of natural movement and modelling to sculpture.
Given by P J Crook, President of the Friends of Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, in May 2014 to celebrate the 30th birthday of the Friends.