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New exhibition reveals how the Elgin Marbles inspired Rodin’s work

History repeating: The Elgin Marbles inspire a new show at the British Museum Matthew Fern

One of the British Museum’s most famous visitors and his admiration for its most famous exhibit is the subject of its new blockbuster show.

Around 80 works by French sculptor Rodin, including a version of his piece The Kiss, will go on show alongside sections of the Elgin Marbles which inspired him.

The 2,500-year-old sculptures have been the subject of one of the longest cultural rows in Europe.

They were acquired by Lord Elgin from the Parthenon between 1801 and 1805 before he sold them to the British Museum in 1816. They have been on public display since 1817. Greece has long demanded their return, claiming they were taken illegally.

The exhibition will also include a number of sketches of the marbles Rodin made during trips to the British Museum from the 1880s onwards. The Rodin sculptures have been borrowed from Paris’s Musée Rodin.

Curator Ian Jenkins said the “genesis” of the exhibition, called Rodin And The Art Of Ancient Greece, was an attempt to tell the “overlooked story of Rodin and his relationship with the Parthenon Sculptures”.

British Museum director Hartwig Fischer said: “Rodin is not alone in being inspired by the Parthenon sculptures but few responded with his passion that was to last a lifetime.”

Rodin And The Art Of Ancient Greece, sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, will run from April 26 to July 29 in the Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery at the British Museum


Article by Robert Dex.

Posted in: News on January 11, 2018 by...