Essay The Vulcan 's Forge, By Auguste Rodin

1285 Words Aug 16th, 2015 null Page
Auguste Rodin is perhaps best known for his iconic bronze sculpture The Thinker. Amongst his other works is another bronze piece titled The Vulcan’s Forge, cast in 1905. The rectangular relief sculpture features a group of five ancient Roman men smithing at a forge. The group is transfixed on their tiring task to the point that they have no connection to the world around them, nor do they have notable purpose; they are slaves to their work. Additionally, the juxtaposition of archaic subject matter in a modern piece leads me to believe Rodin is opposed to classical hypermasculinity and the traditional idea that hard work is done by men. The sculpture is the color of the alloy it is cast in and has a smooth, shiny surface. Despite the overall smoothness of the piece, the artist manages to convey the coarse texture of curly hair and the slight roughness of concrete ground. Rodin also accurately portrays folds and wrinkles of clothing, as well as the flexion of muscles. The piece is roughly two feet long and one and a half feet high; the two largest figures’ bodies are nearly as long as the composition’s height, making them appear imprisoned with nowhere to move. As a relief, The Vulcan’s Forge has varying levels of depth. The foreground is high-relief and invades the viewer’s space. Centered at the bottom is a simple pedestal with an anvil on its surface. Nearly equidistant from it are the two outermost workers who stand across from each other and are practically at edges of…

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