The expression 'the Zola of Sculpture' was coined in the circles of the Royal Academy in the 1880s as a term of abuse.
Rodin: 'The Zola of Sculpture' reveals how the appraisal of Rodin in British culture was shaped by controversies around the literary models of Zola and Baudelaire, in a period when negative notions about French culture were being progressively transformed into positive expressions of modern sculpture.
Embedded within this collaborative book is the editor's proposition that Rodin came to play an important role in the cultural politics of the Entente Cordiale at a critical juncture of European history. Encompassing new scholarship in several disciplines, drawn from both sides of the Channel, Rodin: 'The Zola of Sculpture' offers the first in-depth account of Rodin's career in Britain in the period 1880-1914 and weaves this historical trajectory into a complex investigation of the interactions between French and British cultures.
The authors examine the cultural agencies in which conceptions of Rodin's practice played a defining role, dealing in turn with artists' professional associations, art criticism, private and public collectors and the education of women sculptors.