Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Video: Auguste Rodin Sculpting in his Studio (rare footage)

This is a unique film of the father of modern sculpture, Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), working in his studio in Paris. What is particularly interesting is the close up of the artist’s process with marble.The footage was shot in the summer of 1915 by the French actor and dramatist Sacha Guitry for his patriotic World War I-era film, Ceux de Chez Nous, or “Those of Our Land.” There are four segments of film:

[1] Rodin walking up and down the steps of a monumental columned building, inspecting the structure;

[2] Rodin posing top-hatted in a garden;

[3] The sculptor coming out of the then derelict C18 Hôtel Biron which the artist used as his studio;

[4] Rodin sculpting in his studio.


The Film of Rodin Sculpting in His Studio, 1915

It appears he’s never looking where he’s hitting.
Stepping back, between striking.
he’s more seeing than looking. Since then,

there’s been some arguing,
as to whether he feels the gods inside the stone
and chips the flakes away until they’re missing,

until the gods reveal themselves, in this case
a man and woman kissing. Or maybe he’s chiseling
them inside the block, letting the chips fall as they may

in these few filmed seconds, near the turn of his century.
The skill of marble splintering his beard, lovers
repositioning. Notice how he swivels perfection’s turning.

To put them in the best right light. Half-in,
half-from-the-rock-emerging, lips barely touching.
Notice how he looks to whomever’s filming,

while all the time not stopping what he’s doing,
his beard catching everything that’s loosening.
As if he sees us kissing without looking.

— a poem by Gary Margolis

copyright 2015 by Gary Margolis


. The Kiss by Auguste Rodin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


This entry was posted on March 13, 2015 by in Art and Cinema, Opinion Leaders and tagged , , , , , , .

Enter your email address to follow Vox Populi and receive new posts by email.

Join 10,769 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 3,759,252 hits


%d bloggers like this: