Friday, July 10, 2009

Arty Farty Friday ~ Auguste Rodin

Most people, whether interested in art and sculpture or not, are aware of one or two of Rodin's works - "The Thinker" and "The Kiss" are widely recognised - they've become almost iconic.

What I didn't know, before researching, is that the original inspiration for both of those famous works came originally from another of Rodin's sculptures "The Gates of Hell", a work commissioned for the entrance to a Decorative Arts Museum which was never built. Rodin later produced a second version of the work in a less defined, more abstract style. Several of the figures seen in the earlier composition were re-presented as individual, large sculptures, "The Thinker" and "The Kiss" being two examples.

Auguste Rodin was born on 12 November 1840 in Paris, France. Astrodatabank gives his time of birth as 12 noon, with an 'A' rating - I guess someone has to be born at 12 noon - so this isn't one of my usual 12noon "near miss" kind of charts - this guy was really a 12 noon baby.

On first sight of a chart, something I like to notice is whether planets trip off each other around the chart in a kind of chain reaction - semi-sextile, sextile, trine, and square aspect. This is an example of such a chart.

Starting at Pluto at 18 Aries at the bottom of the circle, then moving leftward:
Uranus semi-sextile Pluto at 16 Pisces;
Neptune at 12 Aquarius, semisextile Uranus and sextile Pluto;
Venus/Saturn & Mercury at 18/20 & 12 Sagittarius sextile Neptune, trine Pluto;
Sun at 20 Scorpio trine Uranus;
Mars at 19 Virgo sextile Sun;
Chiron @ 20 Cancer trine Sun, sextile Mars
Moon at 28 Gemini linking backwards through the chain to most of the planets mentioned.

Aspects listed are helpful ones. There are challenging ones within that chain too, of course. Oppositions and squares - notably Uranus opposite Mars, and Moon opposite Saturn, which can also be loosely linked into a Grand Cross by square aspects between Urnus/saturn/Mars/Moon.

What does it all mean in real life? To me it describes a personality very well integrated, with enough harmony to manifest as beauty (in some way) to the outside world, yet with enough challenge to provide dynamic energy, sufficient that the native will not rest upon his laurels at the first success.

I'm going to leave the astrology at that, apart from saying that it's interesting that Rodin was attracted to Dante's "Divine Comedy" for inspiration for that elaborate design for his door, and called it "Gates of Hell". It's a depiction of those said to be condemned to eternal damnation. Scorpio and Pluto are the only sign and planet which immediately spring to mind with regard to images contained in the door's design. That sounds ominous for anyone with sign and planet prominent in their natal chart, but this is the extreme interpretation - the limit of extremity! Rodin's Sun and Jupiter in Scorpio link to Venus/Saturn (art and business/career) by semi-sextile, which then proceed to link to Pluto via trine. A nice chain of symbolic resonance !

Straying from Rodin's actual sculpture for a moment, into his route of inspiration, Dante's "Divine Comedy", I couldn't resist copying this tidbit from Wikipedia
Dante is at last rescued by Virgil, and the two of them begin their journey to the underworld. Each sin's punishment in Inferno is a contrapasso, a symbolic instance of poetic justice; for example, fortune-tellers have to walk with their heads on backwards, unable to see what is ahead, because that was what they had tried to do in life:

"they had their faces twisted toward their haunches
and found it necessary to walk backward,
because they could not see ahead of them.
…and since he wanted so to see ahead,
he looks behind and walks a backward path.

Astrologers beware!!



More information and examples of Rodin's work HERE


Shawn Carson said...

oh my, these sculptures are bringing up strong feelings within me.
i find that most people with the venus /saturn conjunction have strong artistic abilities. my wife makes beautiful art that is also practical. Rodin's beautiful art is made from hard saturnine materials.
very cool article, twilight!

Wisewebwoman said...

visited some examples recently in Paris, he never fails to move me. Lovely post, T.!

Twilight said...

Shawn ~~~ glad you enjoyed it. Yes, it's a powerful combination Venus/Saturn and it fits a sculptor, or practical artist like your wife exactly. :-)

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ I can well imagine !
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. :-)

anthonynorth said...

His work was just so powerful. Exceptional.

Twilight said...

AN ~~~ Yes. A latter-day Michelangelo!