Mayfair. London. 15th June 2017.
This week, thanks to Iain Brunt (founder of antiques.co.uk), we have had an exciting morning filming with one of the world’s experts on Rodin, Robert Bowman (above). Remarkably few sculptors are household names but Rodin is unquestionably one of the celebrated few. He is also by far and away the most celebrated and best loved sculptor of the nineteenth century. The Kiss and The Thinker rank among the most famous images in the world, and are universally recognised.
Robert owns the Bowman Gallery in Mayfair, where he specialises in and sells the world’s best Rodin Sculptures. Simply quite stunning and mind-blowing to be surrounded by Rodin sculptures, and filming we spent most of our time right next to ‘The Thinker’. They really are beautiful. Very appropriate for our experts and audience. You are after all quite an erudite bunch.
The Thinker (a bit like the Mona Lisa) is slightly smaller than I thought, but absolutely as magnificent as you imagine. It’s 15 inches high and bronze with a rich black and dark brown patination. I think it’s fair to say that The Thinker is perhaps the most iconic sculpture of all time. Since its initial conception in 1880, it has become celebrated not only as a masterpiece of artistic endeavour but also an image inscribed into popular culture and recognised the world over.
The Thinker belongs to a number of works inspired by Michaelangelo, which Rodin modelled in the early 1800s. Rodin originally saw the figure as representing Dante himself, but later amended this idea and instead created a more generalist figure, symbolising the very essence of thought and creativity.
It’s also interesting to see that how you display sculptures and how the lighting brings them to life. Robert even showed me some James Bond style secret smoke glass (I can’t say more or I’d have to kill you) – but it enables viewers and potential clients to look at sculptures peacefully, whilst allowing gallery owners to maintain safety of such valuable objects.
Our Swiss Head of Creative who films the experts at learningwithexperts.com, Janic, as always maintained his chic yet cool demeanour. I suspect even he was impressed by the privilege of being surrounded by such emotive and beautiful Rodin Sculptures and being in the presence of literally one of only a handful of experts worldwide, who truly understands this sculptor and his work.
I won’t tell you what I learned about one of the lesser known Rodin pictures in the room… you’ll have to look out for our online sculpture course with Robert to learn that!