Rodin was a French Impressionist sculptor. He had new ideas to the usual sculptors around at that time as he believed in an artists idea about light and shade.
His first piece that he entered was a figure L’Age d’airain at the Paris Salon in 1879, but he was greeted with a storm of criticism. He was accused of making a cast of the man from a living person.
This happened for the next few pieces he produced, until the French finally accepted what a talented sculptor he really was, and in the end they opened a museum to house his works.
Although, one of his commissioned pieces of work was rejected. One his now most famous sculptures was of the statue of the novelist Balzac unveiled in 1898. It was commissioned by the Societe des Gens de Lettres, as a memorial of a giant to literature.
So Rodin made a giant of a statue, huge in pronouncement of its features. The Societe rejected it and it earned a great deal of insult. It has since come to be accepted as one of the most astonishing portraits in Europe.