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.