Despite difficult beginnings and the repeated rejection of his work by the Paris Salon, Rodin persevered to become one of the most famous sculptors in history. At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, he left Paris for Brussels, but it was a trip to Italy in 1876 that proved to be seminal for Rodin’s life and art. In Italy, he studied the sculptures of antiquity, and the work of the Renaissance masters Donatello and Michelangelo. Just a year after this trip, Rodin’s first work was accepted at the Salon. Having finally received the academic recognition he sought, he continued to produce work that sparked controversy. Rodin was awarded a number of prestigious private and public commissions, including his famous Gates of Hell. He is also famous for his smaller, intimate portraits and nude studies.