Rodin Museum-There are times when we prefer to flee from the big agglomerations and tourist sites. Although in Paris, an artistic city where there are, there are some of the most famous museums in the world, there are galleries not so famous, but equally essential. In this case, the Rodin Museum may be one of the most captivating.
Some facts about the Rodin Museum
It is located in the VII District of Paris, at number 77 on the Rue de Varenne, very close to The Invalides . The museum is open every day except Monday and has a general rate of 12 euros.
This unique museum occupies the old Peyrenc de Moras palace , better known as the Hôtel Biron, built in the 18th century. It is a beautiful building whose neoclassical architecture contrasts with the Rococo of the moment.
It is a two-storey town house with a large garden of three hectares that, throughout its history, has gone through multiple owners. Likewise, it will undergo different renovations and additional buildings will be added.
At the beginning of the 20th century, while the property was waiting to be sold, the hotel begins to receive occupants. Among them, it is worth mentioning Jean Cocteau, Henri Matisse or the sculptor Clara Westhoff. The latter, wife of the writer and poet Rainer Maria Rilke, will be the one to discover Rodin’s farm.
In 1908 the artist rented the ground floor as a workshop and in 1911 he occupied the rest of the building. Although the State buys the house, Rodin refused to abandon it. Thus, he offers his works and his collection of antiquity so that this site becomes the future Rodin Museum and allow him to reside there while he lives.
The museum was officially opened in 1919, two years after the death of the sculptor. Here you can admire his most famous works in a very special space for him, where he worked and lived.
The collection of the Rodin Museum
The main collection of the museum is the sculptures of Rodin himself. He was a tireless creator who opened with his new techniques the doors to the art of the 20th century. Here is exposed the largest sample of sizes that exists from the author.
In marble, bronze, plaster or terracotta, these works are distributed in different rooms creating a dialogue that guides us in the tour of the visit, as well as in the garden.
Other featured collections
Rodin was also an exceptional artist, so more than 7000 samples are kept in the museum. Very few of these drawings serve as a sketch for the sculptures. His facet of draftsman walks parallel to that of sculptor. In his own words, his drawings are the key to his work.
We can also find engravings made with the technique of the dry point and Japanese prints that the artist began to collect since 1900.
The paintings he was buying throughout his life and acquiring from friendly painters are also exhibited as part of the collection. Claude Monet, Van Gogh, Eugène Carrière, Renoir, Sargent or Munch are some of the authors of the canvases that hang on the walls of the museum.
An extensive anthology of 25,000 photographs, 7000 of them collected by Rodin himself, shed light on the activity in the Sculptor’s Workshop and different moments of his life. And a large number of letters and archives bring us closer to the personal and artistic biography of Auguste Rodin
Another important compilation is that relating to Antiquity. At the beginning of 1890 Rodin begins to acquire works that come from Egypt, Greece, Rome or Near East. Thus, the ancient sculptures are exhibited together with the works of the artist himself.
All these collections are also accompanied by various sculptures by Camille Claudel, collaborator, muse, model and companion of this singular author. It was one of Rodin’s great loves before he met what would be the woman of his life, Rose Beuret.
Main works of the Rodin Museum
The father of modern sculpture cultivates innumerable genres throughout his career. The human body, nudes, portraits, sculptural groups … its production is very extensive. In the Rodin Museum we can find his most outstanding works.
It is the first important piece in Rodin’s career. In it we can contemplate how the artist already has complete control over the body and modeling. Here we can admire a sculpture on a real human scale.
The Divine Comedy of Dante is a real source of inspiration for Rodin, as in this work. It represented in its origin lovers Paolo and Francesca.
I was destined to be part of the Hell’s Gate. But the sensuality and eroticism of the figures contradicted the theme of the door. Thus, this passionate sculpture became an autonomous sculpture.
Do not forget to surround these two characters from all angles to discover the different perspectives that they contain. Admire the expressive force of the bodies and non-finite character, one of Rodin’s seals: the piece is left unfinished, as if it were still emerging from the block, so that the viewer can interpret the work as he wishes.
Probably the most famous sculptural group of Rodin. It represents the six bourgeois who in 1347 offered to give their lives to save the besieged city of Calais.
A memorial that escapes academic stereotypes. The artist achieves a moving composition, with great body drama. The anguish in the faces and the torrent of feelings will not leave you indifferent.
Made in honor of the novelist Honore de Balzac, Rodin spent more than six years documenting and studying the writer’s life. Finally, he presented it with the robe he wore to write at night. It is a revolutionary work that shows a dominant gaze genius.
Another one of the sculptures destined to decorate the tympanum of the Door of the Hell is today, by itself, one of the works summits of Rodin. A man deep in thought, but with a powerful musculature. This undisputed symbol of modern art is one of the clear protagonists in the museum’s garden.