Musee Rodin

Paris, France | C.1919

Photo Credit: @vally11982

Acknowledged as one of the greatest portraitist in the history of sculpture, Auguste Rodin is responsible for crafting the masterpieces known as “The Thinker” and “The Kiss”. An artist of prestige, a large bodies of his works are located in the two locations of the Musee Rodin in Paris, France.

Rodin’s early life was one of difficulty. He was born in Paris in 1840 into a poor family, and struggled to find the correct path for pursuing art. At the age of 17, Rodin tried three times to apply to the esteemed  École des Beaux-Arts, but failed the competitive entrance examinations. Eager to create, Rodin found work as a decorative stoneworker. It wasn’t until he met young sculptor Rose Beuret in 1864 that he would seriously enter into sculpture work.

The Musee Rodin opened in 1919 and is split into two separate sites. The first site is located in Paris in a beautifully constructed building designed in the Rocaille-style in 1727. Formerly the Hôtel Peyrenc de Moras, the building is now called Hôtel Biron. The second location is Rodin’s former home at Meudon Paris referred to as Villa des Brillants. At the Villa visitors can witness the plaster gallery which holds a series of plaster models that represent his different stages of work.

While living in the Villa des Brillants, Rodin used the Hotel Biron as his workshop from 1908 and subsequently donated his entire collection of sculptures – along with paintings by Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir that he had acquired – to the French State. His one condition was that they turn the buildings into a museum dedicated to his works.

The Musee Rodin collection includes 6,600 sculptures, 8,000 drawings, 8,000 old photographs and 7,000 miscellaneous objects. The museum is home to most of Rodin’s significant creations, including “The Kiss”, “The Gates of Hell”, and “The Thinker” who looks attentively over the tomb of Rodin, where both he and his wife rest.

The museum is one of the most accessible in Paris as it is located in a central neighborhood. The  Varenne Metro stop that neighbors Hotel Biron even features some of Rodin’s sculptures on the Platform. Today the museum is dedicated to continuing education on art, and create a lasting legacy of Rodin.

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