Nestled its very own park in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, the Rodin Museum is home to some of the French artist’s finest works, including world-famous sculptures such as The Thinker or The Kiss. Here are 10 reasons why the Musée Rodin should be on your bucketlist for your next trip to Paris.
1 . An exceptional place in Paris
The Musée Rodin, with its seven-acre garden, is a haven of peace in the centre of Paris! Situated between the Invalides and the Musée d’Orsay, the museum is a must to discover the most iconic sculpture of the Western world: the Thinker.
2. A delightful garden
Any time of year, the garden offers a charming array of atmospheres to explore. The Thinker springs from the roses, the Gates of Hell face the Eiffel Tower creating an extraordinary perspective, the Burghers of Calais rest in the shade of the lindens, and watching the colours dispersed along the lawn change with the seasons is a true pleasure. The Invalides dome overlooks the garden like a benevolent sun.
3. An eighteenth-century mansion
Thanks to Rodin’s donation of his artworks to the French state in 1916, on condition that they be exhibited in this mansion, the Hotel Biron features the artist’s most prestigious collection in 18 rooms. The wood-panelled rotundas, the rows of lounges, the large historic glass windows and the monumental staircase are the perfect setting for the world’s greatest sculptor’s works.
4. The Kiss, an ode to love.
If Paris is the capital of love, then the museum is the place to profess it: the Kiss is the meeting point for lovers from all over the world to come and celebrate Valentine’s Day at the Soirée LOVE, an annual event that offers an unforgettable evening.
5. The Age of Bronze, a defiant yet magnificent youth
What can be said when faced with such beauty and grace? The Age of Bronze was a turning point in Rodin’s career. Its liveliness and vibrancy caused a scandal as Rodin was accused of having cast it directly onto a man. This was completely disregarding his talent as a modeller. The controversy brought the sculptor to light and granted him the commission for the Gates of Hell, his most brilliant work.
6. The Gates of Hell, Rodin’s titanic work
This is the artist’s most impressive work. This gigantic door was commissioned by the French State and based on the Divine Comedy by the Italian poet Dante. It was intended to serve as the door to a museum which never actually opened. Rodin worked on it for thirty years from 1880 onwards, bringing to life a whole world of figures. It features The Thinker, The Kiss, Ugolin and his children, The Three Shades, and countless other beings descending into Hell in a violent, tormented pace.
7. Discovering Rodin’s muse: Camille Claudel
You may have heard of Rodin’s muse: Camille Claudel was 18 when she met Rodin. She became his student and worked in his studio. Rodin was struck by the young sculptor’s talent and fell deeply in love. She quickly became essential to him, and he sought her advice on everything. Their love affair lasted ten years, resulting in numerous works, including some of Rodin’s most sensual, such as The Eternal Spring. A room of the museum is dedicated to the work of Camille Claudel.
8. Take a break at the Café L’Augustine in the garden
Taking a tasty break from contemplating works of art is a pleasant way to wind down at the Musée Rodin. Before returning to the artist’s fascinating world, you’ll need to replenish yourself with a cappuccino, a fresh salad or, for those with a sweet tooth, a pastry from the famous Maison Lenôtre.
9. A family favourite: the Atelier Rodin
In spring and summer, the Atelier Rodin welcomes families and children to come have fun and experiment with sculpture, without booking and at no extra cost. Modelling a figurine and displaying it in the gallery, posing on pedestals like Rodin’s sculptures, experimenting with sculpting tools and techniques, drawing and guessing what the Thinker is thinking. Everything has been brought together to create an experience of shared discovery.
10. Bring back gifts from the shop
With every trip comes the pleasure of bringing back unique gifts. In the museum shop you can find gifts at all prices, but most notably casts made from the original moulds of the works.
Lead photo credit : The Thinker is Rodin's most iconic sculpture © Isogood_patrick / shutterstock
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