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Remembering Rodin/Te Whakamahara ki a Rodin


French sculptor Auguste Rodin is one of the world’s most well-known artists, and his work had a profound influence on the development of modern art. Born in 1840, he went on to produce some of the world’s best known and most celebrated sculptures including The Age of Bronze (1876), The Thinker (1880) and The Kiss (1882).

By 1900, anyone who was anyone would include a visit to Rodin’s studio on their itinerary in Paris. He was the sculptor of superstars – from modern dancer Isadora Duncan to President Georges Clemenceau, to playwright and social critic George Bernard Shaw. The world-renowned artist died in 1917.

Rodin’s sculptures are normally found in the large metropolitan museums of Europe and the United States but on this occasion an important work has found its way to Ashburton.

Remembering Rodin / Te Whakamahara ki a Rodin showcases New Zealand’s most significant Rodin sculpture, Eve (1882), a work that has been appreciated by fellow artists, experts, scholars and connoisseurs for many years.

Te Papa’s Head of Art, Charlotte Davy has noted, “Rodin is accessible, relevant, powerful and universal”.


Eve relates to Rodin’s famous master work, The Gates of Hell. The female figure is hunched in despair, a very ‘Rodinesque’ pose, showing humankind’s humiliation following the expulsion from paradise. It’s a beautiful image, but a tragic, melancholic, timeless one too.

Also included in the exhibition is a lithographic portrait of Rodin (1914) by his famous near contemporary Pierre-Auguste Renoir, along with an extremely handsome and rare leather bound edition of Gustave Coquiot’s Rodin (Paris, 1915) with 57 hand-tipped photographs.

“We are thrilled to be bringing this prized work of art to Mid Canterbury” says Ashburton Art Gallery Manager/Curator Shirin Khosraviani. “Viewing Eve will no doubt be a stirring experience for visitors both young and old and a rather rare opportunity to see the work of a master in our own community.”

Remembering Rodin / Te Whakamahara ki a Rodin is developed and toured by the
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Gallery Hours:
Open Daily 10am – 4pm
Open Wednesday 10am – 7pm

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