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Misfortune is a blessing in disguise often. It has 'fortune' inside!

Updated: Mar 23, 2022

The story of the legend - Auguste Rodin



Almost all of us are familiar with the thinking man. The creator was Auguste Rodin, the most famous sculptor in history after Michelangelo.


But what brought his sweeping fame? How did people come to know about him?


Well, the answer is misfortune! A truly sad affair.


Rodin was rejected by the National School of Fine Arts of France in more than one occasions and went on doing odd jobs to earn his living. His dream of becoming a sculptor was being buried under the mundane drudgery of surviving throughout his twenties. During mid thirties, he somehow managed to gather enough money to visit Italy. In Florence, he saw Michelangelo's sculptures and was thrilled. Peculiarly, the sculptures of the old master inspired Rodin to do something unlike the academic style demanded.


On his return, he began to work on a bronze sculpture, Age of Bronze. Of course, he did not have money for the bronze. It was to begin with plaster. He used a soldier as a model and finally completed the sculpture in plaster. He sent it for exhibition to Cercle Artistique in Brusles. But, the reaction was grossly adverse.


No. Not because of its poor craftsmanship. Because it was too good to be true!

The twisted posture of the nude man was sculpted in such a way and with such high degree of precision, that the viewers were amazed when they looked at it from any direction. Also, the fact that it was life-size, made the reality of sculpting it almost unreal.


One newspaper said, that the sculpture was actually a casting. In their view, Rodin actually cheated.


Rodin was mad in anger and frustration. He wrote angry responses but nothing made the situation any better. His image turned into that of an imposter. Undaunted he sent the sculpture again to another show for display. This time, it was deliberately placed in such a location so that people could not notice it.


Nobody purchased the sculpture or any of his works. He sank deeper into poverty. Finally, after three years, one minister somehow persuaded the government to purchase the sculpture and cast it in bronze.


His career went on bumping into bad lucks for many more years anyway. But his fame began to rise. And the primary reason that brought him into the limelight was the scandal that he had cheated by declaring a casting as a sculpture.


Had the misfortune not happened to him, had the original not been taken for an duplicate, like it always happens in this world, we might not have known Aguste Rodin today!

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