Auguste Rodin was born in 1840 in Paris. He hoped to study sculpture at the École des Beaux-Arts in 1857, but was rejected three times. So he first began making ornamental building sculpture. In 1863 he briefly became a novice in the order of Pères du Très-Saint-Sacrement. In the following year he worked on decorative projects for the French sculptor and draughtsman Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse. He soon began exhibiting internationally. In 1875 he made his debut with a work at the Paris Salon. In 1876 he travelled to Italy, where he was above all impressed by the works of Michelangelo. A year later it was claimed that his bronze statue Age of Bronze had been cast from a live model, which he denied. In 1880 he was commissioned by the French state to sculpt the Gates of Hell for the portal of the Musée des Arts décoratifs. This became his life’s work, one that he never completed. He visited London for the first time in 1881. In 1883 he met the sculptor Camille Claudel, with whom he discussed art and entered into a relationship. In 1893 he moved to Bellevue; soon afterward he met Paul Cézanne and visited Claude Monet. At the Paris World’s Fair in 1900 he had a pavilion of his own. Rainer Maria Rilke became his secretary in 1905. Rodin died in Meudon in 1917.