In Depth

Figure head: Celebrating Rodin’s centenary

In the 100th year since his death, the influential sculptor is honoured in London and Paris with a series of definitive exhibitions

Despite not garnering widespread acclaim until the latter half of his career, Auguste Rodin is now counted among France's most famous and influential artists, and is considered a key progenitor of modern sculpture.

This year marks the centenary of the iconic figure's death, and his native country is paying tribute with a major exhibition at the capital's Grand Palais. The institution has joined forces with the Musee Rodin for a far-reaching overview encompassing more than 200 pieces of his work. Rodin: the Centenary Exhibition will be on display from 22 March until 31 July and feature alongside sculptures and drawings from his contemporaries and those he influenced, including Picasso, Matisse and Gormley.

Until then, there's no better way to explore his legacy than to make an excursion to the Musee Rodin itself. Its main home is the stately Hotel Biron on the Rue de Varenne, Paris. In his final years, Rodin rented its ground-floor rooms to use as his studios, and today the building stands as a monument to his work, housing hundreds of pieces spanning not only sculpture but diverse mediums including paintings, prints and ceramics. Until 22 January it will display a special exhibition entitled Hell According to Rodin, exploring one of his most defining pieces, The Gates of Hell, which depicts a scene from Dante's Inferno.

There's also still a chance to catch the acclaimed Rodin and Dance: The Essence of Movement, showing at London's Courtauld Gallery until 22 January, which brings together a series of his experimental sculptures known as the Dance Movements that date back to 1911. Considered his last major project, it traces the inspirations behind these playful figures, including remarkable drawings documenting the acrobatic models and members of the Cambodian royal ballet that were the source of his inspiration.

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