Art: The Last Master

Among the bleak, soot-smudged buildings in Paris' Malakoff suburb, one small factory shines out like a beacon. Its neat brick walls are covered with vines; the windows are immaculately clean. Inside the red iron gate there is a courtyard filled with bronze statues. Plump Renoir and Maillol nudes stand side by side with muscular Bourdelle torsos, Rodin figures, and a host of lesserworks. On most of the statues, two names are inscribed. The first is the sculptor's; the second is that of the man who turned it into bronze, Eugene Rudier, the foundry's 74-year-old owner and the last of the world's...

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