Monday, July 06, 2009

Rodin, Heinlein, and La Belle Heaulmiere



Last year sometime, I posted some pictures of Rodin's "The Fallen Caryatid," and quoted Robert Heinlein's description of the sculpture. This is another by Rodin that Heinlein really liked, and he described her thus:
An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl she used to be. But a great artist--a master--and that is what Auguste Rodin was--can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is...and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be...more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart...no matter what the merciless hours have done to her. Look at her. Growing old doesn't matter to you and me; we were never meant to be admired--but it does to them. Look at her!
This quote is from the uncut version of "Stranger in a Strange Land."

The statue is also known as "She Who Was the Helmet-Maker's Beautiful Wife," "The Old Courtesan" and "Winter."

11 comments:

  1. Beautiful piece!
    I noticed you took me off the side..sorry I haven't been writing,too much going on in my life right now to do a lot here.
    But don't count me out totally yet okay?

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  2. Terri, I didn't take you off...you're still there. Good to hear from you; I worry when you're not posting.

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  3. Ronni, just to let you know,I did a post last night.
    I am also going in for surgery on the 21st.
    I haven't been doing well at all.
    I thanks you for your concern, I am working on getting healthy,just seems everytime I start to make headway something tragic happens in my life...so many losses.So much on my mind. I keep saying it can't get worse..I keep being wrong. I will try to get an email to you to let you know all..somethings I just wont talk about on here you know? thanks for still being there. your my idol!XOXOXOXOXOXOX

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  4. This is exactly what I am supposed to be writing on my bog everyday! Very nicely done! Thanks for the introduction to some art and a critique I was not familiar with...t

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  5. T, I found the art because I read the quote in the book...I am now a fan of Rodin...

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  6. Just came across this while looking for some Rodin images. I did a similar article back in 2007 on Durward Discussion

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  7. Thanks for the link, Jamie...consider yourself added to my blogroll! Interesting stuff.

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  8. I really appreciate your help, it is very useful for me,you will get good grades!

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  9. Many years ago I was enduring high-dose chemo, weighed 89 pounds and looked not much different than the Rodin statue. Next to my bed I kept a copy of the statue and the Heinlein quote. It helped keep me going from moment-to-moment. It's wonderful to know that others appreciate these things also. Thank you.

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  10. Thanks for your comment. It's an awesomely beautiful statue, and Heinlein had a good eye. Congratulations on surviving the unimaginable with a lot of class.

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  11. So greatful to Robert Heinline to introducing me to the works of Rodin in my youth.

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