The Baker Museum Lecture Series
The Music Behind the Sculpture
Olivia Mattis, lecturer
Music for Rodin was not mere adornment or entertainment. "A visit to the Louvre is for me like an hour of beautiful music; it exalts me," said the sculptor to his English biographer Frederick Lawton. Elsewhere he declared: "Religious music … makes my soul and my mind swoon." Using primarily unpublished sources, including Rodin's passionate letters to the pianist Hélène de Nostitz that evoke "notre Beethoven," as well as accounts from early biographers and others who knew the sculptor well, Dr. Olivia Mattis, a musicologist specializing in links between music and the visual arts, argues that Rodin considered himself to be, and perhaps was, the Beethoven of sculpture — the pathbreaker who built on the past and yet opened wide vistas to the future.
This lecture will be presented virtually using an online video platform. Patrons will be sent access information as the date of the event approaches.
This presentation is part of the exhibition Rodin: Truth Form Life / Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections.
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