RODIN'S " L'ENFANT PRODIGUE."
SOMETIMES an artist will penetrate
the essence of a grief. It may well be
that he cannot analyse it, or even present
it, as a problem—he simply enters into it.
Rodin has done so in his bronze of the
Prodigal Son. The familiar story, so
beautiful even in the well-worn phrases
of the Gospel, has been vitalised to such
a degree that the solid material employed
sinks into insignificance. It hardly seems
to be there. The emotion of the artist
has dissolved it into space. It is all
"L'ENFANT PRODIGUE." (BRONZE)
BY AUGUSTE RODIN
(By courtesy of the Director of the
Victoria and Albert Museum)
emotion, the kneeling figure of the boy,
naked, his head and arms thrown back
in an attitude of desperation, with scarcely
the muscular control to keep himself
from falling. a a a a
It is not the figure of a penitent. It is
that of a young boy, battered down by
the sheer force of adverse circumstance.
He is bruised, bleeding, stupified—hurt as
an animal is hurt without the knowledge
that to some extent counteracts pain.
There is no palliative here. The wreckage
of a passionate but undeveloped nature is
nearly complete, while the boy's experience