Newspaper Page Text
Much Prowling About Parisian Ways Reveals Rodin in a House of Silence
fcate Carew Finds the Great Sculptor in an Ex
Convent, Surrounded by His Ghostly Crea?
tions, and Marvels Over His Hooded
Eyes and Buddha-esque Presence.
BT K?te *_-ew.
Paris. September 27.
MONSIEI'R- ROD1N will be pleased
to recelve Mile. Kate Carew at
4 on Thursday afternoon."
Tbat was all the card sald.
But lt was to the polnt anyway. and 4
? the clock saw your ,lttle aunUe Prowl"
!_ along the rue l'Unlverslte. to the
"tel Blron. where Auguste Rodln haa
pp you know. dears, It's a funny thlng.
hut everybodv s'eals silently down that
\\Tttt I belleve myself ifa the only
rtally qulet corner in P.itis.
Cab drivers don't rrack thelr wblps.
motormen stlll the tootlng of the'.r horns
and soothe their englnea' fretful pufflng.
_e ubtqultous postman. the whistllng
butcher boy and the shrlll volced worklng
woman all subdue their natural ten
dencles. lf thelr way Ues there.
I can't tell you the whyne. a of thls. but
J thlnk It's just something they all feel as
I felt it myaelf.
Perhaps it's in the ahadowa cast by the
jjjjj Walls of the Blron. behlnd whlch
.bbesses and nuaa lived and prayed tltl.
in ipite of agonlxed entreatlea, tho*" were
turned out of bons.- and home by govern?
ment decree. and thelr habitatlon was
eondemred to be razed to the ground
ell but one amall portlon of it. whlch
Bodln was allowed to have as a studio
and dwelling place.
A CREATOR AMID DESTRUCTION.
And there he workfl, while walls to the
right of hlm. walls to the left of hlm. are
b-ta. torn down'
There he creates ln an atmosphere of
I was the only living thlng ln that
atreet, and I paused a moment before the
door to aeeure myaelf that I really wai
hi Paris and not in some buried clty ot
Then I pulled the bell, the old. elanglng.
eonvent bell. not yet removed and re?
placed by the neat electric button of to
I only .ave a gentle pull, but I ve
never encountered a more apontanooua,
ready bell. I guess in the daya it was
pat there they wanted every one In the
aeighborhood to know when any one came
It clanged and lt clanged and lt echoed,
ti. I thought any inhahit-nts of the street
nlght well put their heads out of thelr
wlndows and expect to see a Louls XIV
_Uberdi*T banging on the door with hla
?word and shoutlng:
'"Open ln the Klng's name!"
Instead of whlch they would have Just j
seen one lone, atartled female of uncer
But no one seemed to be ln the least
inte-rested in the bell, outalde or Inslde
the building, and I waa Juat beginnlng to
wond.r whether I'd better face the nerve
racklng ordeal of dlsturblng more sleep
ing echoes, when a man suddenly and
sikntly opened the door.
A HOUSE OF SILENCE.
He was dressed in a long workman's
bloise or tunic,' and the blts of whlte.
mlhering to his halr and hands made me
plaea him as ono of the great aculptor's
Hfl didn't waste any words on me, mere?
ly polnted to a sort of lodge. and I walked
over to it and asked a pleasant-faced
concierge how to flnd M. Rodln.
She, too, seem_d to be affected by the
pr* vailing sllence, for she only dlrected
me to the nearest way to flnd the studio
and went back to her work without ln
dulging in any of the smlling volublllty
of the Frencli woman.
Really, dear ones, I began to feel Just
lik.- a pllgiim on a quest.
Mv sketchbook became my burden, my
fountain pen a staff.
I walked through the clolsters as lf ln
a dream. and I fully expected to hear the ,
deep tones of a long silent organ and
the chanting of fresh and fervent young
All about me were workmen. sllently,
reniorselessly slaying stone and mortar.
Dust was fly ing ln clouds. and now and
then some tortured. hacked and ham
niered part nf the building would fall wlth
a heavy. groaning thud.
At last I reached the spot left sacred
to Art. and I lingcred there ln the great
It was like a cathedral. and the same
bush pervaded lt.
r-ffd young sculptors or assistants
pgBflffl me, but they paid no more atten?
tlon to me than had the workmen outslde.
Thaf spoke to each other in whlspers and
went cn thelr way.
?<ih. dear." 1 murmured. plnchlng my -
Mtt to be sure 1 was flesh and blood.
?*D*_ 1 really go to Paquin's this mornlng.
and am I tea-ing at Rumplemeyer's later
this afternoon? lt can't be, That's ell
fantastlc. Thls ls real. I'm back ln the
flfteenth century. where I belong. and I'm
going to consult a hermit. a wlse man."
Than a gcntle-footed, soft-volced maid
came and ushered me into the pre-ence.
By tbat tlni". girls, I don't mlnd telllng
you I was forming the whlaperlng habit
taP-fl-C ,?nd I really belleve If M. Rodln
bada't spoken out loud I'd have glggied
'WHY SHOULD I GIVE UP MY WORK JUST AS I AM CROWNING MY LIFE'S TOIL?"
IVCRY FACT OF LIFE 18 BEAUTIFUL* THERE 18 NO IMMORALITY
iu A PT"
bysterlcallv or done BOBM Dtbflf f<>oll-n. ll
But he dld.
He welcoiiH-' ine |_ p\ ' Kp "?_P
and ln a klnd, tulHoned ?
ills studio is ln a bl - !
rather sparsely toralflhed, but wlth I
and there a flne old cabinet or tflMfl *M I i
There's an ataBO-phara of afteetl
about It somebow. pni aV rowni teary
where are draped _Od swath- d Bgnn
A blt morgue-Mke ln aCflCt, jrcu ktmw.
dears; whlchever way your cyes turn.
there's the human form divlne, or a part
of lt, under a sort of abro__
"You must have this chalr." said M
Rodln ple.-santly, und h* wa-.-l Ifl Bfl
that I feel tttt Ifl hls OWB DtBl Ohi par
ticular restlng plaee.
"Oh, no," I proteated. "i'd like nne of
those 'high-ba.l- if you'll let me
have it, and you takfl ti ial ooa p
So he sat down wltboul aay ".
and I pcrched my*- lf on :i aeat v.i.bh re
nilnded me of mt ? I
Then we Burvepad ea 1. othflf
I've never In al! fl*. llf. v -ti rmy one
sit ao ah-Olutely ani Immorably atlll as
M. Auguste BodlB. I'm BUI- !'? n'-v.-r
aiahad or tuitched la thoae aeoonda flrhen
he was waltta. for aaa to begta talktag.
Perhai* scuiptorn borTO*** a sort of im
nobUlty fiom thelr atatuea: aaphow, fm
posltlve lt lan't in mao'a e_tate*to ba qulte
ao rigld M Rodln.
A PAIR OF ASTONISHING EYES.
He la short, but thtck?Bt aad atoehy
He has tbe high, round ohaohhoB
the slightly eoerflfl ttial n ol tht
ot Nonnandy. Hlfl ball '- art,f -hd ba
wears a long btttS, Whinh Ifl Stay alflo,
and ls in plflBfltn. contraat to tbfl pink
of hls all_btly arlthi i
His c)<-? ara remarka Ae Thay aro
very full nnd balt cl< . booded III ?
eagle's. In ttt t. I" aaonifl to i
you from lindfll nltil dlCl tulty,
thea aii of a Buddi n th ? B* I
tmi there'a a Btfl I
la the little twsm.ii:.
i becauee you're
foi it. or for euythln. i o
yonth and ? :;.<??.. ll
l>o >ou know wfcai h< ".mlndad n
as he .at tbfltffl
A certaln RMUMt~ Buddhft, with foMfld |
arms ana Btf-Bg*, uneeehu aspraaalsn, |
which has pn-sld--d Ortf m>' iiiaiiteh
for many year.-.
Yes. be Ii.oKi I PO like tbat I
i... s, i pni aa ? \i U ead, iad I'm aura
there was ?vannt!. Ifl B*y I Dfl Bl 1 sald
?It was geod oi you to lei att
and see you. M. Rodln."
"Oood of me?" be quafltlone. heavlly.
"I don't undtrstan.l that it ln a Bl?
uie to me to have people come here
-ometlmea. One must not always work,
>ou know, and I'm afraid that's wha* I
Lhoi'ld do If occaslonally my friends dld
not come nnd take BM trom it."
fctill not a motion of the hands or bodv;
'just the half-clos.d eyes and tha llpa
Outslde a part of the wnll fell wlth a
?*, ,),.** I exclalmed spontaneously.
?_< -ii t it depreoa yam to llve and work
?*.. r..* *"i much boauty Is belng de
Don'l you hate to have theaei
Ina "M bnlldlnga go. even lf your nlche
I dOB'l mind telllng you. dear ones. that
?our nuntle could have bltten her tongue
viih antioyance after she'd sald that.
'Ot nll har Intultlons told her that M.
Rodln dldn't like It. and. nnyway, how
,,,,1,1 be look the government glft horse
D the mouth, a** lt were. and conflde ln
ne that he preferred more cheerful quar
A QUESTION UNANSWERED.
gO J \rsaa'l nt all surprlsed when he
,,,.,,. ,,-,,,- that -lurstmn, Just ga-lng
,tlv at me through hls half
a,,?,.,* ty? gnd taylng. quite unemotlon
?Tbi v :?* happy here. I hi ve my
work an.l my people;" nnd the slight
?au* ..f Ml *-'tartlln?ly ..elbate hand
.,.,.?...,! ,o li.la.lf all the draped ilguiet*.
I naata '" tlie room beyond, the
,. ,? aervant, th- mald --e.va.it and the
h i kcx ii ootitda.
*,,i ,,,i* .-," I murmured. trylng to re
,.:,l*r the ...or. and also trylng to con
.,, ,, ,,? .. ,.,ir a vislon of a young-rj
Kciin who i aei to g?. to Uveaaoo witn
Whlatler aad bla ilk. and who was al
mad ard marry >:>nt among tho broth-.--,
hood, l*?'t it wi.uldn't com.. All 1 OOUM
u.. gnve imm?>biie Baddha la
?|,? >,?. ththh art la dcseneratlng I
**\rt can never ia frnerata tnd is aarer
i rwered tba acolptor, ind
denly unboodlaa hla eyta "1 thmk. how
,.-..,-' thai aa tine IblBgO ar.- not pio
?,?.,,, ;?.,;;,, M in thi peat. ???'? ????? '"
i ....... tha iii-n.iesof ...tt. ber itedeuta,
n nol verk. The* raah ?<? ???- !lt"
, , :i:,, Kfcoel whlfh isll..- easl.sta.-ho,
ror them ea** '%?,"?t', H ?"
,,. .... it*s i.ke UM* leara ago a sho
mafiar bad to model a aboe from tha
ll - we mad- . beautJh.
.i- ??-??? thHr ?v,;,
roda ahooa. arhethet they M
?r not. They Bmfio thelr feet to th*.
,, ,?s ft si. m, to bc that way ln m.ist
? ?;,.. .,.,d art Is talnted wlth
,,t. What the artlst glves. the
paMU aee* pt* Bo new schools sprlng up.
,, | i, fed OB ex.lteinent, then dle out.
. :,,,,. o| me public where art
. racd ls one of tl.e moat amuaiiig
Ihlnga ln the world *'
"Perhapa lt ls the materlallstlc spirit of
to-day which Is afTectlng knowledge and
appr.-clation of art." I suggested tenta
"To a certaln extent that ls true.
agreed M. Rodln. ln hls unemotlonal
volce. "All thls machtnery, thls craie
for swlft comlng and golng! People hav-j
thelr mlnds so fllled wlth that that pure,
gracious art has no place. lt i? to be de.
plored, hut can be un.Wstood. The world
ls too busy with oth.r things."
There was a pta.fdtaltf and sadnes.i
nbout ther-e words.
They wetaed to eome frotn nn onlooker
-one who was ln tlie world but not of
lt: one who saw, was grleved. but Judged
"You're not thlnklng of giving up your
work, are you?"-I asked the qulet flgure,
because a note of dlscouragement had
crept lnto the last words.
The heavlly lldded eyes opened and
flashed at me.
"I!" exclalmed M. Rodln, almost shaken
out of hls lmpasslve lmpenetrablllty. "I
glve up my work? ttt, no, not yet!
Why should I glve It up, Just when I am
crownlng my llfe's toli? I've llved all my
years struggllng nnd working and I have
aCCOfBpttahod something, but I am vo
raclous ln my appetltc for achleve.nent.
I want to do more. Art still calls me.
and only when my hand will no longer
answer my lns|ilrntlon shall I know that
I am tlred and must take my rest. Hut
not till then!"
And bO shook hls head nt me In the
siow, dollberati way of a porcdain <:hi
Ho Is so much more Ortent.il than
Krench Bomehaw, Thara la aona ol the
llghUtOfg of the l'n nilinian. it aetaaad to
me he sl.i uld have h. en clothe.l in rich,
flowli-ir rob's nnd ha\e lie-n faHBOd b.v
black slaves. Igataad of belng ln a much
wn* n and api tted btaa suit.
AMERICA TOO NEW FOR HIM.
"Do you thlnk you'll ever come over to
America?" I asked.
"No." ln- sald sol. iniily. "I am too old
for aaytlrtag ao aaw."
Tin n a dlm hlnt of the youthful Rodln
came ba<k to htm In a sort of rogulsh
look. as ln* iiclded, "l'm sure there would
be beautiful fctes and dlnners."
"l'm peetftve there arould," i agreed. "i
can aeaure >'<,,, jraafd ''?' tbteA from the
day you arrlved till you aalted away from
"Aii!" murmured the old man almost to
lilms.lf 4U..C all that would have at
tra t< I i... -thlrty yrars ago, perhaps
Hut nuw" -and hc made a wcary llttle
nature- Tn fbry oi.i l'm s*-\enty-two.
you know "
"But thut Isn't old nowadays." I expoa
He smiled falntly. Then he auddenly
unhood. d his rycs agaln and they gleamed
mysterlously as he ahook hls Anger at me
"Hut l'm not too old for my art. My
work dooad't tire me. There'a no change
there I've b.-en dolng It all my life and
It'a part of mt?the very best part of
me." , .
"Do you take a great lntereat In the
young atudenta now ln Parla?" I ques
tloned. "Are there any genluses among
M P.odln dldn't seem disposed to com
mlt himself as to genluses. we may ex?
pect. He merely sald:
"There ls a movernent for the better, I
thlnk Students are taklng thelr work
more aerloualy. but atlll they don't ao
"Art Can Never Degenerate and Is Never De?
generate," He Says, and Adds That Love of
a Woman Does Not Inspire an Artist,
Since Love Is Destructive.
ply themselvea aa we dld. They don't
take a hand and study it. then a foot and
study that. They are too restless, too
lmpatient for concentratlon. and only by
concentratlon can any worthy result be
With Rodln. you see. my dears. all
roads lead to work. It ls the obsesslon
of hla life, and he cannot thlnk or talk
but ln Its language.
"What ia your opinion of Jacob _P
steln'a work and ldeas?" I asked.
Poor Rodln looked puzzled. and he ahook
hls gray head.
"Ia he a palntcr or a sculptor? I can?
not seem to remember him."
"He has Just completed the monument
for Oscar Wilde's tomb," I prompted.
Rodln's face cleared. "Oh, yes. of
course- for one foollsh moment I had for
gotten. Of that I would rather not talk
at present. He ls now in trouble because
the authorltles here have a horror of any?
"I . always thought France waa ao
broad-mlnded," I vouchsafed.
"Ah ha." laughed Rodln. "I cannot say
that. though there ls an advance. They
allow here now what they would not
have done years ago."
"Well, ln America, you know, we drapc
our statues If they offend us."
M Rodln lndulged ln a strange, sllent
laugh. whlch only evinced Itself ln trp
shaking of hls broad shoulders and a vl
bratlon of hls gray beard.
"I remember." he said. "A statue nf
Rarnard's was draped, was It nnt? Ah.
no doubt. In thirty years the chemlse
that was so carefully and mndestly put
on wlll be removed. It shocks people
now to see a complete nude. They've
been so accustomed to vlewing thelr
friends ln portralts. faces, hands, busts,
that they do not know or aeknowledge
the rest of the body, but in tlme their
eyea tflll get used to all. The public Is
dull. It Is bllnd. It recognlzes only the
famlllar. to whlch lt pays no attentlon.
How many people see the lumlnoslty of
the heavens? The God's cholr ln the gray
sky? -Dld you yourself notlce the sky as
you crossed the Selne to-day?"
HE DEFINES ART.
"No," I confessed. like a guilty child
before a stern master.
"There, you /ee," exclalmed the sculp?
tor. "what I aay ls true. Ia lt not,
"I'm afraid It Is." I admitted, and al?
lowed hlm a few seeonds to enjoy hla tri
umph. Then I asked tlmidly:
"Don't you thlnk that the tendency to
glorlfy ugllnesa in art ls a fatal lnflu?
"I don't know exactiy what you mean,"
answered Rodln. carefully hooding bla
eyea again. "If you have an Idea. you wlll
carry lt through. No lnfluence can af
fect you. If lt ls well done lt wlll have
beauty. The Phlllstlne public confounds
the subject wlth the expresslon. Expres
slon ls the art. and that is to be admlred
when lt ls falthfully exeouted. Reauty
of form. of grace, of aecompllshment.
a perfect creatlon. whether of color or
marble or motion or song. ls a Joy. What
lnsplred lt ls of no consequence. There ls
no Immorallty in Art. It ls Truth. Every
faet of Ilfe ls beautiful. Why nbt see
beauty In them all? Ah, mademolselle.
It grteves me that even we ln France so
often wlsh to assume the chemlse. We
cannot openly aee. pt life and admlre its
"But what about theae blzarre and fan
tastlc schools whlch spring up? Don't
they do any harm?"
"I thlnk not. Poaalbly they aerve a
good nur,>o.v\ They drlve the big men
back to the almpllcity of seelng and feel?
lng. They make them turn again to
"How do you thlnk our American artlsta
compare wlth those over here?"
"I am afraid I do not know much of
the newer ones," he pleaded. "You aee, I
am old and engressed In work. But of
Sargent and Whlstler I can apeak. I
think they compare with any ln the world.
Whlstler's portrait of hia mother?what
an achievement! Palnted wlth geniua, in?
dustry and soull"
"LOVE IS DESTRUCTIVE.**
"And love," I ventured to add. "Don't
you thlnk love a -great lnsplratlon to an
"No," replied M. Rodln, wlth another
slow shake of the head. "No, love of a
woman doea not Insplre an artist to draw
or palnt. In the case of Whlstler's
mother, yes. no doubt; but passionate love
ls destructive The more a man feela the
colder hls picture. are, aa a rule. It la
oiiiy work which enables an artist to put
life on hls canvaa? not emotion. Late;
on, through toll and experlence, he may
be able to expresa the love he could not
ln the flrat flush of Its fervor."
The afternoon shadows were beglnning
to drape the .hoatly flgures ln mantlea of
gloom. The workmen had left thelr task..
An anclent, silent servitor came to the
door and looked in at us as we sat in the
twlllght, and 1 kn.w I must go, so 1 rose,
and M. Rodln walked with me to the en?
Once he paused and showed me a won
derful bust of Mozart, and once I atopped
spellbound before a colossal pair of hands
folded as if ln prayer. I cannot tell you
how impresslve they were, those great.
beautiful hands on a tall pedestal, the
sort of lmpresslveuess that makes a lump
come Into your throat and your heart
give a leap.
"You like lt?" asked the aculptor, aa
slmply as a peasant would ask hls neigh?
bor a casual questlon.
"More tnan 1 can tell," I sald earnestly.
"To me lt slgnlfles, not Just hands in
prayer, but a great church. a place of
worshlp, supported by columna meetlng
ln the centre."
M. Rodln was pleased by my admlra
tlon, as pleased as an unconsclous child.
"That's what lt shoMd mean," he aald
slmply. "I'm glad yoti got its message."
Then he patted the hand I held out to
hlrn wlth a gentle, fatherly goodby, and
I left hlm standlng there ln the allence
and gloom, like aome deaerted Vlklng
alone ln his Valhalla, wlth imagea and
shadows of the paet.
I went through the apacioua hall and
out Into the clolaters, deserted now, left
to a brlef peace.
The silent conclerge opened the gate for
me, and Its closing reeounded through the
I made my way back to my frlvolous.
worldly Paris. but somehow I couldn't
help thinking of that great, wonderful old
man wlth the simpliclty of a child and
the dlgnlty of genlus and achievement.
alone amid *_*__, worklng, creating. whlle
walls crumble around hlm, indifferent,
unconsclous even. of the outside worid
and Us waya.
(Copyrlabt. 1012. New-Tork Trlbune.)
AM SURE THERE WOULD BE BEAUTIFUL FETES AND DIN
NERS FOR ME IN AMERICA."