August Rodin was a French sculptor who studied painting at Petite École. Rodin began his career as a craftsman in porcelain factories and workshops. His first works were portrait busts made of bronze, which he made after hours. Rodin had a difficult time trying to get these sculptures on the market and was repeatedly rejected by the Académie française. Between 1874 and 1875 he visited Italy and was overwhelmed there by Michelangelo's models of the human body. After this experience, Rodin drew inspiration from Michelangelo's spiritual intensity and his first accepted work, The Age of Bronze, reflects this intensity. Rodin was accused of using casts of live models in his work with sculptures. To refute this, he created a larger-than-life sized sculpture of St. John the Baptist. Rodin worked both in bronze and marble. He is known for uniting realism and symbolism.