Friday, April 01, 2005
Emile Antoine Bourdelle (1861 - 1929) was Rodin's main assistant from 1893 to 1980. According to one biography, Bourdelle
sought to restore monumentality to sculpture through an eclectic borrowing from both ancient Greek and medieval sculpture. Concerned with the public function of sculpture, Bourdelle reintroduced sculpture to its traditional outdoor and architectural settings.I couldn't have said it better.
Yesterday I had a walking tour of the Bourdelle Museum. I'd never heard of Bourdelle before, but his work has made a lasting impression on me. I was almost overwhelmed by his sculptures. They were large and beautiful... with so much left to be figured out. As the quote above states, he used a lot from Greek mythology in his works.
There is Penelope, the woman who waits for Ulysses. She is larger than life with a flowing Greek robe, her right arm around her stomach (to protect her from all the suitors while her husband is away for so long) while her left arm is bent up with her chin on her fist (showing she is waiting for her husband to return).
There are thousands of pieces of Bourdelle's works in this museum, which also houses Bourdelle's home and studio. There is so much to see inside the museum, but there is also an enchanting sculpture garden... probably a wonderful place to walk around on a sunny day.
If you like sculpture, especially larger than life sculpture, this museum is for you. Most of the people in our group were very impressed by Bourdelle's work.
Since it is a city of Paris museum, entry is usually free. However, there is currently a special exhibit of Claude Rutault's work and admission is charged. If you don't care for Mr Rutault's modern work (think white painted canvases placed on the floor or sacks placed over sculptures and you have an idea of his "art"), then wait until after May 15 to visit the Bourdelle museum.
-- said Auntie M in Paris