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The French government, however, had not altogether abandoned the idea for a monument, and in 1891 Rodin was commissioned to provide a marble, based on the models for the first version of the monument, for the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris.
The marble monument was ultimately unveiled in the gardens of the Palais-Royal in 1909, and in 1933 it was moved to the Musée Rodin in Paris, where it can be seen today.
There he became a partner of the Belgian Antoine (Joseph) van Rasbourgh in the execution of monumental stone sculptures that included the allegorical groups for the Brussels Bourse.
This experience provided a rich foundation for the series of nude male figures that he began to create in the late 1870s: , as it is more often titled in English, was the first full-scale figure that Rodin exhibited publicly under his own name, initially in 1877, at the Cercle Artistique in Brussels and later that year in the Paris Salon of the Société des Artistes Français.
Although the initial display in Paris of the plaster model for the figure created a storm of criticism, the first bronze cast from the plaster model was exhibited without further controversy in the Paris Salon of 1880.
The son of an inspector in the Paris Préfecture de Police and a former seamstress, Auguste Rodin grew up in a working-class district of Paris known as the Mouffetard.
His early instruction was provided by the “Petit École” (the École Impériale Spéciale de Dessin et de Mathématiques), a school for the training of decorative artists, where he acquired a thorough grounding in the traditions of French eighteenth-century art, and by informal studies of anatomical structure under the tutelage of Antoine-Louis Barye, the French Romantic sculptor, best known for his animal subjects.
While in Brussels, Rodin also modeled a number of decorative female figures and busts of young women, some in peasant dress and others wearing flowers or fruit in their hair, to which he began to sign his own name.