Monday, January 9, 2017

"No part is more important than the whole." Auguste Rodin

Dr Abe V Rotor 

The famous statue of Honore de Balzac (picture) carved by Auguste Rodin, has no hands.  But when Rodin carved it, it had hands.  This is how the statue lost its hands.

After completing his work, the sculptor
called in his students and friends to see it. "What hands!" gasped one. 

"Master, I have never seen such hands. Only a god could carve hands like that,"said another,"they are alive!"

"Those hands! Those hands!" exclaimed a third student.  "If you had never produced any thing else, master, these hands would make you immortal."

Rodin was not pleased in the least.  He seized an ax and rushed to the statue.

His students tried to hold him back, but with unbelievable strength, he chopped off the hands that had called forth such praise.

"Fools!" he shouted.  "I had to destroy those hands because they had a life of their own.  Thy did not belong to the life of the entire statue.  Remember this and remember it well! No part is more important than the whole."

Auguste Rodin (1840 – 1917), was a French sculptor, progenitor of modern sculpture, but did rebel against the past. Rodin possessed a unique ability to model a complex, turbulent, deeply pocketed surface in clay. Many of his sculptures were roundly criticized during his lifetime. They clashed with the predominant figure sculpture tradition, in which works were decorative, formulaic, or highly thematic. Rodin departed from traditional themes of mythology and allegory, modeled the human body with realism, and celebrated individual character and physicality. Rodin was sensitive to the controversy surrounding his work, but refused to change his style. His sculptures suffered a decline in popularity after his death in 1917, but within a few decades, his legacy solidified. 
Honoré de Balzac (1799 – 1850) was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the 1815 fall of Napoleon Bonaparte. Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. His writing influenced many subsequent novelists such as Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, Edgar Allan Poe, Eça de Queirós, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Oscar Wilde, Gustave Flaubert, Benito Pérez Galdós,Marie Corelli, Henry James, William Faulkner, Jack Kerouac, and Italo Calvino, and philosophers such as Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Many of Balzac's works have been made into or have inspired films, and they are a continuing source of inspiration for writers, filmmakers and critics.

Acknowledgement: Anecdotes of the Great, St Paul Publication; Wikipedia, Internet photos. 

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