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François Auguste René Rodin (12 November 1840 – 17 November 1917), was a French sculptor. Although Rodin is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture, he did not set out to rebel against the past and classical sculpture. Though traditionally schooled taking a craftsman-like approach to his work Rodin is generally considered the originator of modern sculpture.  Rodin possessed a unique ability to model a complex, turbulent, deeply pocketed surface in clay. Many of his most notable sculptures such as The Thinker, were roundly criticized during his lifetime. They clashed with predominant figurative sculpture traditions, in which works were decorative, formulaic, or highly thematic. Though he did not achieve the desired academic regonititon, during his career his works increasingly brought favor from the government and the artistic community. His reputation grew, such that he became the preeminent French sculptor of his time, and by 1900, he was world-renowned. After a World's Fair exhibit his works were sought by wealthy private clients worldwide.

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