Much of Rodin’s work shows the ‘non finis’ technique. Here drama and life is created by making the sculpture appear to be trying to break out of the stone. This happens because the base or background of the sculpture is left in the rough state or unfinished.
Rodin’s work is generally considered the most important contribution to sculpture of his century. Realistic in many respects, it is nevertheless imbued with a profound, romantic poetry. The Gothic, the dance, and the works of Dante, Baudelaire, and Michelangelo were major sources of inspiration.
Rodin considered his work completed when it expressed his idea, and as a result his sculpture is varied in technique; some is polished, some is gouged and scraped, and some seems scarcely to have emerged from the rough stone. He worked long over his more important works, returning to them again and again but without injuring their essential vitality.