A Moment in Art History – Auguste Rodin’s “Adam” – Incomplete Perfection

When Auguste Rodin decided that Adam would be part of his Gates of Hell, he didn’t anticipate that the sculpture of the Biblical first man would never stand in a completed creation. In this Moment in Art History we examine the sculpture, the artist’s inspiration, and the unintentional statement of hope Rodin made by leaving the project unfinished.

How do you Feel about Rodin’s Adam?

I would love to hear your impressions of Rodin’s Adam. Do you like the sculpture? Have you seen any of the casts in person? What impact has it had on you and your art?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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About the Author: Jason Horejs

Jason Horejs is the Owner of Xanadu Gallery, author of Dad was an Artist | A Survivor's Story and best selling books "Starving" to Successful & How to Sell Art , publisher of reddotblog.com, and founder of ARTsala. Jason has helped thousands of artists prepare themselves to more effectively market their work, build relationships with galleries and collectors, and turn their artistic passion into a viable business. Connect with Jason on Facebook

17 Comments

  1. Jason, great video of sharing about the history of Rodin. It truly is refreshing to see and hear a gallery owner speak on the history of an artist, even one from long ago. It helps to inspire me to continue with my art so as to inspire others as well. Really look forward to more videos like this one! All the best to you.

  2. Rodin’s “Adam” is by far my favorite. I have never seen any in person, but his ability to convey the emotion in each work is truly amazing. I shall begin a search for the book you mentioned.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Rodon’s work is truly majestic . I went on a two week art tour of Paris. Every day we went to galleries, museums and homes of the artists. I had the good fortune of visiting Rodin’s home and garden. To be emersed in the art of many of the ground breakers and their history was an amazing privilege.

  4. I was lucky enough to walk through his home, studio, gardens and gallery in England in 1987. What a thrill. My favorite time of my stay! My favorite was a marble orb the I just wanted to embrace, but of course was “NO TOUCH”!

  5. A few years ago, I was invited to lecture at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. On my visit there, I took the opportunity to visit the Rodin Museum. I must have taken about 50 to 60 photos of the grounds and the interior of his house where he worked. The experience was extraordinary to say the least. I was most impressed with his piece “The Burghers of Calais” which took him 5 years to complete. Each of the 6 figures exist individually in the forest area of Rodin’s garden and at the end of the walk as you come toward the house, you see the final grouping of all 6 figures. The house is also filled with Rodin’s drawings and terracotta models from which he planned his larger works of art. If you ever go to Paris, I highly recommend a visit to the Rodin Museum.

  6. Jason, Thank you for presenting these videos. You pack a lot into a little time (always appreciated). I am not sure in my years ~ ~ if I have seen an actual original Rodin but his work stands out in time with its power. I will find the book and read it.

  7. It’s interesting to know more about Rodin, as I know little more than a few odd snippets and “ The Kiss” which is unforgettable. Thanks for your research and insights Jason.

  8. The Rodin museum in Philadelphia is interesting. I think the most impressive is the Burghers of Calais. They are life size and each one has unique features much like the army of soldiers found in China. What I remember about Rodin is that he had poor eyesight; sculpture being an ‘easier’ art form for him to manage.

  9. Thank you for reminding me of my visit to the Rodin Museum in Paris long ago. I not only loved the gardens and sculptures I was drawn to the many drawings he made in the process of creating them. An awesome experience.

  10. Jason, I really enjoy your art history presentations. I didn’t appreciate it as a freshman in college, since I wasn’t an art major. Please, if you find time, share more art history.

  11. I love Rodin! The Rodin art museum in Paris is my favorite place to picnic as is for so many other people. His sculpture of Balzac is in my opinion gut wrenchingly astonishing. I can stare at it and never find an end to its extraordinary embodiment of spirit.
    There’s so much in this place to see that it may be the best place in Paris to take your baguette, cheese, and wine, especially on a beautiful spring day!

  12. I love Rodin! The Rodin art museum in Paris is my favorite place to picnic as is for so many other people. His sculpture of Balzac is in my opinion gut wrenchingly astonishing. I can stare at it and never find an end to its extraordinary embodiment of spirit.
    There’s so much in this place to see that it is a most loved destination in the City of Light!

  13. I was fortunate enough to see “The Gates of Hell” when it came to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on a visit back in the 1980’s. I was in college at the time and our drawing professor told us to go see it. I was in awe at the size and the amount of work that went into it and I was instantly in love with Rodin’s work. Thanks for allowing me to revisit that memory with this video.

  14. I have had the privilege of seeing the work at the Musee Rodin, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and most recently the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia. I think it’s a powerful sculpture, as most of his are. Enjoyed your talk and look forward to hearing more from you.

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