At school, the child showed such a gift for drawing that his teacher, Mr Rousset, allowed him to express himself freely, "sitting in a kind of hall, away from the rest of the class". Aged 13, Bourdelle joined his father's studio as an apprentice. In the evening, he took drawing classes in Montauban, where he learned modelling techniques based on the study of copies of antique plaster casts. The young cabinet maker's skill soon earned him the recognition of art lovers in Montauban. In 1876, he was given a scholarship and passed the entrance examination for the Toulouse School of Fine Arts.Above, photograph of Bourdelle's studio, now the heart the Musée Bourdelle in Paris.
The two men respected each other and the collaboration proved to be a decisive one.Although Bourdelle spent much of his time executing Rodin's designs, he also continued with his own work and staged a major personal show in 1905. (Crispin the Clown, 1893)