Rodin’s Garden, Rodin’s Window, and Rodin’s… erm… Lego?

Auguste Rodin. Le Penseur. The Thinker. Paris. 2022.

Last August, during a stay in Paris, I spent the day at the Rodin Museum. The museum was opened in 1919 as a dedicated space to display the works of French sculptor Auguste Rodin – famous for his works such as Le Penseur (The Thinker), Le Baiser (The Kiss) and La Porte de l’Enfer (The Gates of Hell). The museum consists of the Hotel Biron which Rodin used as his workshop from 1908, along with extensive gardens where many of his sculptures are placed in a natural environment.


Spending time in the sculpture garden was a chance to meditate upon art and nature; to marvel at creativity while under the spell of luscious greenery and a hot blue sky. Inside the museum – the Hotel Biron – came the chance to become overwhelmed by the thousands of sculptures, drawings and paintings on display. A little breathless. Dizzy. Sunlight pouring through the vast windows into rooms where once Rodin worked, where he gathered his collection of Objet d’Art from around the world to fill each space with not only his own vision but the vision of others.

Objet d’Art. Artist not stated. From the personal collection of Auguste Rodin.

Auguste Rodin. Le Baiser. The Kiss.

 Sunkissed inspiration

It was in one of the sunlit rooms of the hotel where I became inspired to make a painting when I returned home. Oddly, the inspiration came not from the art I was surrounded by, but by one of the windows overlooking the gardens. Nor was it the view that shook me, but simply a few panes of glass and how the light played across them, and how shadows formed across the shutters and floor. I set about taking photos to use later for reference, and in my head I immediately called my (as yet to be created) creation: Rodin’s Window.

But there was no way I was going to be able to tackle something as huge and magnificent as that window, what with the tiny canvases I had at home, limited paint, work space, and quite honestly limited art skills. I opted to cut the image down to just a few panes of glass and a part of the wall. A perfectly manageable detail.

Seven months passed before I decided to dedicate a handful of days into putting onto canvas what had inspired me inside the Hotel Biron that sunny day in August 2022.

Rodin’s Window. Pencil, ink, acrylic paint on canvas. 41 cm x 33 cm.


The Lego connection (brick by brick)

After completing my Rodin’s Window, it all became a bit Lego for me…

… and I don’t know why… other than someone kindly donated a box of old Lego to The Vintage Toy Advertiser to do with as we pleased, and I thought (thinking): why not have a crazy go at making a mini Lego sculpture of Rodin’s The Thinker? So I thought.

And so I did.

Step 1: Take box of donated Lego.

Step 2: Spend ages (and fun) making something that vaguely resembles one of the world’s most famous sculptures with nothing but blocky, unpliable, multi-coloured Lego bricks as your material.

Hmm, yes, it looks like a robot so far, but kudos to me at least for thinking to give it a jointed neck, arms, knees, and ankles (seven points of articulation for you action figure freaks out there!).

Step 3: Put it into a pose that vaguely resembles one of the world’s most famous sculptures. Decide on which angle you like best for final photo purposes. I’m thinking this one…

Step 4: Experiment with some daft backgrounds like you just discovered a free trial of Photoshop or something.

 

Ahem, moving on…

Step 5: Paint your creation in a colour that vaguely resembles one of the world’s most famous sculptures.

Rodin’s Le Penseur (The Thinker). Lego sculpture. 21 cm height.

Step 6: Clear up all the mess you have made in trying to recreate in Lego something that vaguely resembles one of the world’s most famous sculptures. Spend ages cropping photos and uploading them to WordPress blog (being careful not to be distracted by WordPress’s Daily Prompt: “Which famous person, alive or dead, would you invite to a dinner party?”

Erm… Auguste Rodin?

That’s all vintage mates!

Thank you for thinking with us 😊

Auguste Rodin. Le Penseur. The Thinker.


 

35 thoughts on “Rodin’s Garden, Rodin’s Window, and Rodin’s… erm… Lego?

  1. I’m here from Resa’s blog. What a wonderful place to visit–not only the sculptures, but also the garden. I can see why you were inspired by the window, and I like your painting very much.

    I’ve been to the Rodin museum in Philadelphia many times. It also has a garden, a secluded spot in the city.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never visited the Rodin museum, only the Louvre, but after seeing all your wonderful photos, I’ll make sure to visit it next time I’m in France. Your painting is fantastic sir, as for your Lego inspired creation… well I’d queue around the block to get a closer look! (sorry, I’m tired, it was the best pun I could come up with! I’m just gonna Lego of it now) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Bruce. Yes, you should go visit if you get chance. It’s a beautiful place. Serene and magical. Glad you like the painting and my Lego Le Penseur 😊

      250 vintage points awarded to you for some cunning puns there my friend! Duplo it makes sense, and it’s good to see you building on your already well-constructed repartee 😁

      Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you like the idea of the Lego Rodin, Chris. Such fun to think about and then build.

      That’s so cool you’ve been to Rodin Museum. It’s a magical place isn’t it, those gardens, and the lake and that impressive hotel. Next time I go I’m taking my sketch book and pencils ✏✏✏🎨

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your painting, Ford… and I actually like your Lego creation too, although it still looks a bit like a Transformers robot in disguise 🤖 🥸 🤣. Ah… I used to love playing with Lego… 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My clairvoyant powers although sufficient in predicting the theme of your post, have not prepared me for what would be presented to the eye of the beholder…

    Two words, Ford: Fucking beautiful!

    Oh, man…let’s start:
    I have a huuge spot reserved in my heart as an artist for Rodin. Huge.
    I can relate more than you know to the inspiration bolt that struck you!
    Before I move on to your creations; now that you have been in the presence of AR art, when you have the time, please go and visit a creation of mine titled “Inferno”. I consider it the crown’s jewel among my other creations.
    When there, I am sure your keen eye will spot the influences from Rodin.

    Your painting…absolutely disgusting😂
    The care and work you have put are so evident.
    From the carefully drawn out perspective lines that create the illusion of 3D space, as one of your canva photo demonstrates…

    …to the pointillism of the nature outside the window…

    P E R F E C T !

    But that wasn’t enough for ya, mate, was it??

    You had to double down with a frickin Lego La Penseur!!!
    Fokin el!!!😎👏👏👏
    You now what…I had made a driftwood sculpture named “Pensif” – we should pair them…collab no4!

    Amazing work, Ford.
    I am so happy for you that you were there in August…not as a tourist but with your full presence and essence!
    Much love, mate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Nick, my brother, who I love with all my heart… I am more than happy that you are pleased with these creations, especially because I know you adore Mr Rodin. In fact, as I walked about the Musée Rodin, I thought of you – for all your creations that have opened a portal to me in spiritual ways. You open windows!

      And… and… and… you GDMFSOB you 😂 You would have to go and propose a project #4 wouldn’t you? Dang blast it, my mind is already going into overdrive for how we can not only pay a tribute to Mr Rodin’s Penseur, but add our own, unique style! (pensif/pour tout le monde!).

      Brrrr!

      Can you send me the link to your creation “Inferno”. Would like to see this.

      Was pleased to acrylic paint again. Always been a writer and drummer, but throughout the 2000s I painted a lot, had solo and joint exhibitions, painted in Amsterdam and Dublin and even your dear isle of Rodos.

      As for the Lego… that kind of came from the nowhere of the big kid in me 😁 and was a whole lot of fun!

      Project #4, the mechanics of it, is already in the spring air I feel? Yes!

      Liked by 1 person

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