IN 2001 the letters written
between the two artists were published in German. Mostly from Rilke’s pen, since Rodin used written communication mostly for exchanging necessary information, the letters show a deep and soulful view on art theory and other matters. They express the
current state and worldview of the young poet that originally idolised the old master. Rilke captured many reflections and quotes by MAÎTRE RODIN : »You can do nothing but work. Work and be patient.« or »The artist has to return to God’s original text.«
R i l ke a b ou t Rodi n
» You can do nothing but work. W o r k a n d b e p at i e n t. «
In his first letters to Rodin in the summer of 1902 , Rilke writes: »I want to thank you again for your great letter and want to greet you, my noble master, with all my admiration.« As the letters progress, a certain disenchantment and emotional conflict appears between the lines. The ideal picture of the sculptor who made those appealing, sensual, anthropomorphic works could not stand up to reality. Rilke’s
view of an artist as a genius and disconnected viewer of the world, as a human combination of spirit and matter did not conform to everyday life. Rodin might have been a great artist, but he was also a regular human being. When he was done working, he behaved like any Parisian man; went out, had (short-lived) relationships with several mistresses and was bored.
SISTERMAG 46 | 03 / 2019