Rodin: rethinking the fragment

A British Museum Spotlight Exhibition

Generously supported by the Dorset Foundation

Tour schedule

With the support of the Dorset Foundation, the exhibition will travel to three UK venues from August 2018 until April 2019

Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal 
10 August – 27 October 2018

The Holburne Museum, Bath 
2 November 2018 – 27 January 2019

New Art Gallery Walsall 
8 February – 28 April 2019

Recommend this exhibition

The French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) was a radical and innovative artist who challenged the rules of contemporary sculpture. Perhaps his most important legacy was the idea that a fragment – an incomplete figure or even an isolated hand - could be a work of art in its own right.

Following the British Museum’s major exhibition in 2018, Rodin and the art of ancient Greece, organised with Musée Rodin, Paris, and sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, this Partnership Spotlight loan highlights how Rodin had studied the fragments of ancient Greece and Rome, converting the limbless, headless torso into a new art genre.

One of Rodin’s best-known works, The Thinker, on loan from the Burrell Collection in Glasgow,was conceived to sit high up on Rodin’s The Gates of Hell. His inspiration for the sculpture included one of the most celebrated sculpture fragments to survive from antiquity, the Belvedere Torso. Displayed alongside The Thinker are three objects from the British Museum, a classical torso from a marble statuette of Venus (about 1st century AD); a Royal Academy medal (about 1901), showing the Athenian Acropolis alongside the Belvedere Torso; and Eugène Carrière’s portrait of Auguste Rodin, Rodin sculpting (1900).

Barbara Vujanović, Senior Curator, The Ivan Meštrović Museums – the Meštrović Atelier, Zagreb, and Project Curator of this Spotlight loan said, “I am delighted to have worked with the British Museum on this exciting partnership exhibition, which reveals how Rodin viewed fragments from antiquity as works of art to be celebrated. I look forward to seeing the different ways in which the venues approach this exhibition.”

Auguste Rodin, The Thinker, 1880-81, The Burrell Collection © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection