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wolfie Paris - A travel report by Michael
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Paris,  France - flag France -  Ile-de-France
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wolfie's travel reports

The Rodin Museum, Paris

  7 votes
During a recent visit to Paris we learned more about the sculptor Rodin by visiting the museum dedicated to his work

The Hotel Biron - view from the garden
The Hotel Biron - view from the garden
I think that most people are probably familiar with The Thinker and The Kiss by Rodin. Their images crop up all over the place and are almost artistic cliches. I'd seen one copy of the Kiss when it was on display at the Tate in Liverpool and despite the familiarity of the image, I was impressed with the scale and the workmanship. The figures and the composition were realistic and moving.

So while we were in Paris I wanted to take the opportunity to study more of his work by visiting the Musee Rodin at the Hotel Biron, in the Rue Varenne, on the Left Bank, close to les Invalides. Its an old manor house set in its own garden, which had been used as studios by a number of artists, including Matisse, and Rodin rented a number of rooms which he used as a workshop, to store sculptures and to receive visitors. It was threatened with demolition but Rodin intervened and persuaded the French Government to establish a museum dedicated to his work. He was successful, and it opened in 1919.

Favourite spots:
Les Invalides seen from the garden
Les Invalides seen from the garden
Today the mansion houses a permanent exhibition of work by Rodin together with some sculptures by Camille Claudel (his protege and mistress) and painting and sculptures from Rodin's personal collection. Temporary exhibitions are displayed in the house and also in the former chapel which now serves as the entrance to the site and houses the ticket office and bookshop.

The gardens have been restored in the French syle and constitute a peaceful green oasis in the centre of Paris which display a number of statutes. You can buy a ticket that allows access to only the garden. If time is limited this is a good option as it is possible to see a considerable number of important works. Its also a pretty pleasnt place to sit and ponder on a nice day.

What's really great:
No introduction needed!
No introduction needed!
Works cast in bronze displayed in the garden include the Thinker, the Burghers of Calais, Balzac, Ugolino and his children, Victor Hugo and the Gates of Hell. There is also a display of marble statues inside a glass fronted gallery.

Inside the house works by Rodin and others are displayed rooms on the ground and first floors. The first few rooms show early pieces by Rodin in chronological order. These include the man with the broken nose and the Age of Bronze, Other rooms are thematic, based around major works, including the Kiss and the Gates of Hell showing how they developed.

Rooms are also devoted to Camille Claudel, stutes of parts of the body, including the Cathedral and the Walking Man, and busts of friends and clients - including a number of wealthy English female clients.

Paris travelogue picture
There is a cafe in the garden where you can byu drinks, sandwiches, salads etc. The prices were reasonable and it was pleasant sitting out in the garden on a sunny day. There is limited room inside, so it could get a little crowded during less clement weather

Other recommendations:
There was a lot to see and one visit was not enough for other than a cursory study, but it does allow you to learn more about Rodin's work.

For more information on the museum, visit their website at

Published on Friday September 25th, 2009

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Fri, Sep 25 2009 - 09:04 AM rating by pesu

Thank you for this well written report - a very good tip for the next Paris visit!

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