November birthdays - RODIN and MONET

The two artists were born only two days apart in 1840 (Nov 12 - Rodin; Nov 14 - Monet). Let us commemorate them with remembering their exceptional friendship. The following extracts are from the educational files of the Rodin Museum, France.


'Rodin and Monet were bound by a lifelong friendship and reciprocal admiration. While they were true contemporaries, born within two days of one another in November 1840, it is hard to pinpoint when they actually met. They were almost certainly introduced by mutual friends like writers and critics Octave Mirbeau and Gustave Geoffroy, or the art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel. (...)

While both artists epitomize a revolutionary turning-point in their respective genres, it is hard to imagine career paths more different than those of Rodin and Monet. Rodin’s rise to fame was a slow struggle: The Age of Bronze and the scandal that finally brought the sculptor recognition dates from 1877. By then, Monet was already an established artist: his dazzling career had actually begun in 1865 with Le déjeuner sur l’herbe (Luncheon on the Grass), followed, in 1866, by Femmes au jardin (Women in the Garden). In 1874, his Impression, Soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise) gave its name to the Impressionist movement. (...)

After Georges Petit opened his Parisian gallery in 1882, Rodin and Monet showed their works in collective exhibitions there on a regular basis. (...)

Their regular correspondence bears witness to a loyal friendship, which lasted until the sculptor’s death in 1917. They also joined forces to defend a number of common causes, helped each other whenever they could, and shared other friendships.'

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