Opened in 1919 at the initiative of the artist Auguste Rodin, The Rodin Museum is one of my favorite places in Paris.
A visit to the Rodin Museum is an unique experience, a journey in time, this place manages to capture the attention not only by the works of art but also by a beautiful garden spread on three hectares, which recreates the historical context of Paris in 1900s.
Set in a central street Varenne No 77, at Hotel Biron, the museum can be visited in two hours.
RODIN AND THE HOTEL BIRON
During the time he was living in the Villa des Brillants, Rodin began to use the Hotel Biron as a studio starting with 1908. Then he donated his entire collection of art to the French State: sculptures, paintings, photos, with the condition that the hotel would be transformed into a museum dedicated to his work.
The Sculptor, the illustrator and the French painter Auguste Rodin (November 12, 1840 – November 17, 1917) considered by many critics the greatest sculptor after Michelangelo, revolutionized the language of sculpture. Rodin has demonstrated his modernity not only by the conceptual style of its work, but also through his way of exposure, choosing outdoor spaces.
The museum gathers most of Rodin’s significant creations, including The Thinker, The Kiss and Gate of Hell. The gardens around the museum are home to many of the famous sculptures in natural size. His work exposes human truth in a very expressive way, the artist used to over-emphasize the hands and the feets to his statuettes.
Rodin Museum collections are very diverse. During the last twenty years of his life, when he was living in Meudon, Rodin began collecting works from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, and later from the Far East. His friendships with various artists were an opportunity to exchange works, friendships that led him to own in his collection Theodule Ribot, Alfred Roll, Eugène Carrière, Charles Cottet, Jules Dalou, Alexandre Falguière or Jean-Paul Laurens.
The museum also has a room dedicated to Camille Claudel’s works, the student, the mistress and the muse of Rodin. Some paintings by Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh, which were in the great artist’s personal collections are also presented.
THE SCULPTURES GARDEN
The garden of sculptures, with an area of three hectares, is divided between a rose garden, in the north of Biron hotel, and a large area covered with grass in the south. At the end of the garden, in a concluding perspective, there is a sitting area consistent of a terrace and a hornbeam forest, located behind a wickerwork wall.
During the gardens renovation in 1993, two thematic routes were designed from east and west, “Jardin d’Orphée” where vegetation and stones intertwine as a prelude to the discovery of Rodin’s work and “Jardin des Sources”, whose sinuous tracks, sprinkled with water sources, forme single and autonomous entities.
The piece that impressed me the most is the Hell Gate, a broad composition inspired by the writings of Dante, which is a synthesis of his works, trying to capture the moral of the times, through an exceptional visual analogy.
THE CENTENARY AUGUSTE RODIN
2017 marks 100 years since the death of the artist, and several exhibitions are being organized in various places in Paris and around the world.
Between 22 March and 31 July 2017 a special exhibition, with more than 200 works of Rodin and Bourdelle, Brancusi, Picasso, Matisse, Giacometti, Beuys, Baselitz, Gormley.can be seen inside the Grand Palais in Paris.
To celebrate the centenary of Rodin, the Legion of Honor shows in the Museum of Fine Arts from San Francisco an installation with about 50 objects made of bronze, marble and plaster, which can be seen until April 29, 2017.
In 1907 the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi worked at Rodin’s workshop. After a few months he left the studio saying:
“Nothing grows under the shadow of big trees!”
Musée Rodin, 77 rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris
Phone: 01 44 18 61 10
Metro: Varenne station (line 13) or Invalides station (line 13 and line 8)
RER: Invalides station (line C)
Bus: 69, 82, 87, 92: Boulevard des Invalides