In 1916 at the age of 76, the genius Auguste Rodin fell ill, giving him cause to reflect on his accomplishments. It was during this period that he made donations to the French State in order to preserve his legacy and create a museum. The illustrious sculptor died a year later. In 1919 the Rodin museum opened, to become today’s unmissable museum in Paris.
A private mansion and its garden: the history of the Rodin museum
The Rodin Museum is located in the historical old Hotel Biron close to the Musée D’Orsay. Owing to wealthy financier Abraham Peyrenc de Moras, the beautiful mansion was constructed in the eighteenth century. The mansion passed into the hands of several families before being converted into an educational institution for girls, belonging to the Society of the “Sacré-Coeur de Jésus”. At the beginning of the 20th century, the company was dissolved, forcing it to abandon it’s real estate. Until the Hotel Biron was sold, prestigious tenants settled there such as Jean Cocteau and Henri Matisse. In 1908 Auguste Rodin discovered the estate and rented 4 rooms on the ground floor to settle his workshops and display some of his works in the garden.
A few years later, the State decided to buy the Hotel Biron but Rodin refused to leave. He offered to bequeath part of his works to the State in exchange for the right to reside in the area and to create the Rodin Museum. In 1916, Rodin obtained satisfaction after a law was passed in the National Assembly accepting the donation of the artist. In exchange for this, the French State agreed to create a museum in the property in the name of Rodin. Problem solved! We benefit!
The current and upcoming exhibitions of this unmissable museum in Paris
Visiting the museum and its gardens is an immersion in the world of two renowned sculptors, Auguste Rodin of course, and his muse and mistress Camille Claudel. During the immersive journey, you will discover the richness of the works of the master of sculpture. The permanent exhibition is presented in several spaces, the ground floor and its room reconstituting the Hotel Biron of the time of Rodin; the first floor allows to enter into the work of Rodin in an aesthetic and historical way.
It you also get insight into his process, inspirations, and creations using different mediums such as oil paint. The art of Camille Claudel are also integrated in a room dedicated to her and you’ll find pieces from other great artists among the rooms. Finally, the garden takes you through 30,000 sqm of greenery, trees, paths, and many, many of his spectacular sculptures, including the iconic The Thinker.
From April 7 to July 22, 2018, discover the wonderful exhibition “Rodin et la danse” (Rodin and the dance) in this unmissable museum in Paris. Rodin was fascinated by dance which he expressed in many approaches and experiments as you follow him in his journey.
Later in the year, check out the exhibition “Dessiner découper” (Draw & cut out), presenting yet another facet of Rodin. Indeed we know Rodin as a genius sculptor, but his drawings are, according to him, “the key to his work”. The temporary exhibition in Paris will reveal many watercolor drawings some of which are cuttings and assemblages sometimes forming couples. You can explore the exhibition from November 6, 2018, to February 24, 2019.
This unmissable museum in Paris has a hidden treasure- the Rodin museum in Meudon: a house, a workshop and a park where Rodin spent the last 20 years of his life. Be sure and include this gem in your visit too.
Photo credit: Jeff Crawford for Booster2Success
Booster2Success is looking for the best cultural activities and museums in Paris and France. Check out our article on another unusual exhibition in Paris of a new genre TeamLab.
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