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Extended Audio Sample Rodin: A Biography Audiobook, by Frederic V. Grunfeld Click for printable size audiobook cover
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 5.00 (1 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Frederic V. Grunfeld Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781470846886
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Auguste Rodin was not only the greatest sculptor—known for such works as The Thinker, The KissThe Hand of God, and dozens of others—but also one of the most remarkable personalities of modern times. He was an artist who outraged contemporaries with his disturbingly unfinished monuments, a sensualist who shocked France with his scandalous relationships, and a friend to the most gifted writers and artists of his day. Frederic V. Grunfeld’s exhaustive biography documents a lifetime of both artistic and personal struggle—against poverty, against the conservative Paris Salon, and against an art establishment that for years denied him recognition.

Rodin’s crucial love affair with his pupil Camille Claudel emerges here in all its tragic complexity, as do his relationships with the British painter Gwen John and the American-born duchess Claire de Choiseul. Grunfeld also sheds new light on Rodin’s friendships with such figures as Robert Louis Stevenson, George Bernard Shaw, Émile Zola, and James McNeill Whistler.

Beautifully written, Rodin is the definitive biography of a man whose influence on sculpture was as profound as Michelangelo’s.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An excellent job…Will undoubtedly serve as an excellent biography of the artist.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Well researched…A marvelous roster of personalities, politicians, writers, and artists of the time pass through the pages of the book, placing Rodin in the mainstream of the cultural life of the Third Republic.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “A vibrant biography…That this exhaustive catalogue is never dull is something of a feat: from an unshaped mass of documentary material quarried from as far afield as America, England, and France, Grunfeld’s Rodin, modeled in high relief against his place and time, emerges not so much a statuary monument as a three-dimensional man.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “[Vance’s] clipped British accent and light alto voice lend an intelligent and sustained reading. Listeners will come away with an appreciative understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of this singular personality and also with a real feel for the flavor of the times in which he lived and worked.” 


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About the Author

Frederic V. Grunfeld (1929–1987) was an author and journalist who spent three decades as a cultural correspondent in Europe. In addition to his biography on Rodin, he wrote The Art and Times of the Guitar, The Hitler File: A Social History of Germany and the Nazis, 1918–1945, and Prophets without Honour: A Background to Freud, Kafka, Einstein, and Their World.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with more than fifty Earphones Awards. He has won the prestigious Audie Awards numerous times and was named Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.