Auguste Rodin was the preeminent French sculptor of the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century. Considered to be the progenitor of modern sculpture, Rodin was deeply inspired by artistic tradition yet rebelled against its idealised forms, introducing innovative practices that paved the way for modern sculpture.
The hallmarks of Rodin's style, his affinity for the partial figure, his focus on formal qualities and relationships rather than on narrative structure, and his desire to retain the marks of the sculptural process on his finished works, were revolutionary in his time.
Rodin’s technique clashed with the predominant figurative sculptural tradition, in which works were decorative, formulaic, or highly thematic. Rodin's most original work departed from traditional themes of mythology and allegory, with the human body modelled with realism, celebrating the individual character and physicality of his subjects. Exploring inner truths of the human psyche, Rodin developed an agile technique for rendering the extreme physical states that correspond to expressions of inner turmoil or overwhelming joy.