Background image: Franz Kline, Bethlehem (photo credit: Linda Mueller)
Within this Entertainment There are histories and Stories to be Told.
Not only is he completely nude, his pose shows a vulnerability that is not normally seen on a figure built like an Adonis. As he is tightening his body, we see the bulging of his muscles from his calf, his back, and his biceps. His body looks powerful, as if you could reach out and touch it, feeling warmth instead of the cold, white marble. This sculpture is entitled Despair by Auguste Rodin. It is a perfect name. It is also the emotion I felt as I walked around the frame of a man collapsed on the rock.
Rodin created Despair in 1890 from marble, although he was also known for using bronze as well. He did a wonderful job expressing the pain in the piece. It is not often that we see a strong man displaying such pain. I had an “a-ha!” moment while reading about August Rodin. I recognized his iconic sculpture The Thinker . Here, again, is a nude man but this man sits with his chin on his fist. The effect is as profound, but completely different. I did not know what to expect before visiting the Saint Louis Art Museum. I’ve learned that we don’t have to be an “artsy” type of person to appreciate art. I’ve also learned that art can affect us all, whether we want it to or not. There is something in art that we cannot escape. This is a good thing.
August Rodin, Despair (photo credit: Richard Reilly)
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