Musée Rodin

The Musée Rodin in Paris, is a museum that was opened in 1919, dedicated to the works of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. It has two sites, at the Hôtel Biron and surrounding grounds in central Paris, and just outside Paris at Rodin's old home, the Villa des Brillants at Meudon (Hauts-de-Seine). The collection includes 6,600 sculptures, 8,000 drawings, 8,000 old photographs and 7,000 objets d’art. The museum receives 700,000 visitors annually.

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

The Musée Rodin contains most of Rodin's significant creations, including The Thinker, The Kiss and The Gates of Hell. Many of his sculptures are displayed in the museum's extensive garden. The museum is one of the most accessible museums in Paris. It is located near a Metro stop, Varenne, in a central neighborhood and the entrance fee is very reasonable. The gardens around the museum building contain many of the famous sculptures in natural settings. Behind the museum building is a small lake and casual restaurant.

The museum has also a room dedicated to works of Camille Claudel. Some paintings by Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh which were in Rodin's personal collections are also presented. The Musée Rodin collections are very diverse, as Rodin used to collect besides being an artist.

Rodin's sculptures are sculptures of an artist who tries to break the uses of his time. Among them, we can quote Man with the Broken Nose or The Age of Bronze which are both denying the standards of the time. On the same level, we can mention The Thinker or Adam and Eve for the total absence of artifice traditionally used to represent the expressiveness of the body. Thus, this artistic choice guarantees the intemporality of Rodin's works.

The graphic collection at the Musée Rodin contains around 7,000 drawings. They can be associated with different styles and periods: observation of landscapes, fantasy works inspired by Dante or Baudelaire, numerous erotic nudes or even portraits.

The Musée Rodin preserves an important collection of 25.000 photographs. Among these, 7.000 were collected by Rodin himself. The artist showed indeed a great interest for this science and art, and he has collaborated with many photographers, such as Eugène Druet, Jacques-Ernest Bulloz, Adolphe Braun or Edward Steichen.

Subjects and themes are varied, Rodin's personnal albums attest to his centres of interest and artistic sources, while the portraits and newspaper photographs illustrate his work and his life. Above all, these photographs are a great source to learn what happened in the studio between 1877 and Rodin's death, in 1917.