Rodin Museum

A charming museum housing a large part of the works of Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel. You are sure to fall in love with the gardens.

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Le Musée Rodin à Paris - Hotel d'Orsay Paris

The Rodin Museum, first opened in  1919, houses a large part of the works of Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel, who played a major role in Rodin's life, both from an artistic and an emotional point of view. The museum was originally a private mansion in Rue de Varenne known as the Hôtel Biron, which was completed in 1732.

History of the Rodin Museum

After 1905, the building was put on sale and fell into neglect. A large number of artists, such as Cocteau, Matisse, Isadora Duncan and Rilke, who introduced Rodin to the house, moved into the house on a temporary basis. From 1911, Rodin took over the whole house and set up some of his works in the garden. The same year, the site was sold to the state, but Rodin refused to leave the premises. He made a proposal to the state to bequeath all his works and antiquities in exchange for continuing to live for the rest of his life in the Hôtel Biron. In 1919, the Hôtel Biron and its garden were entirely given over, under the name of the Rodin Museum, to exhibiting the works left by Rodin to the French state.

A career begun in controversy

The museum houses a wide range of works by Rodin, from his sculptures and drawings to his paintings and photographs. A determined innovator in sculpture, Rodin was accused by many critics of producing works with artificial means. The most representative example is The Age of Bronze. Its outline was so perfect that Rodin was accused of having cast the sculpture directly on the model. It was finally recognised as authentic, however, and at the age of 45, the artist acquired international fame.

In addition to the sculptures shown in the hotel, a number of statues stand in the park, which is enhanced by a rich rose garden. Among the works that are now in the garden are The Burghers of Calais, The Gates of Hell and The Thinker. The use of natural spaces as a setting for sculpture is in line with the artist's conceptions, since from 1908, he had set up some of his works in the untamed garden, but also antiques from his collection. When the garden was renovated in 1993, two themed visitor circuits were designed: the "Garden of Orpheus", where vegetation and a rock garden are blended and where we see Orpheus imploring the gods, and the "Garden of the Sources", made up of paths and ponds. At the garden entrance, marble statues standing in the beautiful marble gallery can be seen from the large bay windows.

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