|Auguste Rodin 1897 Bust of Victor Hugo|
Though possessed of great technical skill himself, Rodin did not care for the word. It was skill—as defined by him, at least—that he ascribed the ease and panache with which so many sculptors achieved unmerited success. They only saw and reproduced the outer skin of what they saw, and their statues were like empty shells. "Skill should be distrusted. What people generally mean by the word 'skill' is the dexterity with which someone evades a problem by fostering a belief that he has surmounted it instead of tackling it honestly. Myself, I have had an extraordinarily quick hand since my youth. I could work quickly if I chose to, but I produce slowly in order to do well. Besides, it never was in my nature to hurry. I ponder things more, and I want more. An artist should be patient as well as knowledgeable."
Bernard Champigneulle. Rodin