February 19, 2011
Positive Portrayals of Sex in Art: Auguste Rodin's "Eternal Spring"
Rodin made a great deal of very steamy, sensual, voluptuous sculptures and drawings. He is an artist that I imagine some Objectivists might be a little unsure of--some of his work presents man as strong and ecstatic while some of it presents man as tortured and crushed. He reminds me somewhat of both Michelangelo and Victor Hugo in that regard. Intrestingly, Rodin was actually a contemporary of Hugo (click here to see a bust of Hugo by Rodin.)
Although there are very subtle and wonderful carvings of leaves in the "background material" of this piece, I wish Rodin had integrated that material into the realism of the scene better. For instance, the figures could have been leaning on rocks of tree trunks or something. Almost anything would have worked. That aside, the way he polished the figures enhances the sensuality of the scene and their embrace beautifully.
In the image above you can see the subtle leaves.
Like the toes on this foot, Rodin was very selective about what details to use and where.
The naval in the figure on the right is "toned-down" so as to not distract from the large areas of polished skin.