"Rodin has a tiny plaster cast, a tiger(antique) in his studio…which he values very highly…And from this little little plaster cast I saw what he means, what antiquity is and what links him to it. There, in this animal, is the same lively feeling in the modelling, this little thing (it is no higher than my hand is wide, and no longer than my hand) has hundreds of thousands of sides like a very big object, hundreds of thousands of sides which are all alive, animated, and different. And that in the plaster! And with this the expression of the prowling stride is intensified to the highest degree, the powerful planting of the broad paws. and at the same time, that caution in which all strength is wrapped, that noiselessness…"
Rainer Maria Rilke on Auguste Rodin's collection of fragments.
"… yard upon yard, only fragments, one beside the other. Figures the size of my hand and larger…but only pieces, hardly one that is whole: often only a piece of arm, a piece of leg, as they happen to go along beside each other, and the piece of body that belongs right near them…Each of these bits is of such an eminent, striking unity, so possible by itself, so not at all needing completion, that one forgets they ae only parts, and often parts of different bodies that cling to each other so passionately there."
Rainer Maria Rilke on first entering Auguste Rodin's studio at Meudon.
Rilke is a German modernist poet who became Rodin's secretary.
Quotations from 'Auguste Rodin' by Rainer Maria Rilke, trans Daniel Slager, foreword William H. Gass:
Multiples, Fragments, Assemblages - Musée Rodin:
Detail of 'The Gates of Hell'