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What is there to say about Auguste Rodin that hasn’t already been said?
He was extremely talented, a prolific artist, and an innovator – considered by many to be the founder of modern sculpture. He created over 6,000 sculptures and more than 10,000 drawings during the course of his lifetime. He collected thousands of photographs, paintings, and ceramics.
What better place to get acquainted with his legacy than the house where he lived and worked, a house that eventually became his eponymous museum?
An unmissable destination in Paris, located at 77 Rue de Varenne in the 7th Arrondissement, Musée Rodin is home to masterpieces such as The Kiss and The Thinker (originally titled The Poet, after Dante Alighieri) – both world-renowned artworks which surely need no introduction.
The Cathedral, a joining of two right hands, was initially titled The Ark of the Covenant and is part of a series that also includes The Hand of God, The Hand of the Devil, and Hands of Lovers.
One of my personal favorites is Danaïd, a moving depiction of a mythological character who is condemned to perpetually perform an impossible task as punishment for a horrible crime. Its marble-carved lines are feminine and gentle, yet painfully hardened by the woman’s curse of forever attempting a futile endeavor.
Another notable work is The Three Shades, a reference to the souls of the damned in Dante’s Inferno who stand at the Gates of Hell. The poignancy of their despair is palpable, expressed in the curvature of the bodies and the almost horizontal bent in their necks.
Various drawings, prints and paintings, photographs and ceramics, are also on display as well as some ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian sculptures. These pieces are part of Rodin’s personal collection, some artworks he received as gifts, others he purchased directly.
The museum’s collections also feature the works of other artists, including those of Camille Claudel, Rodin’s one-time muse and passionate lover, who was also an accomplished artist in her own right.
Outside, the sizeable gardens spread over three hectares (over 7 acres), offering a chance for respite and recollection among the fragrant rose bushes that cover the grounds. Cone-shaped evergreens dot the landscape. In the midst of Parisian tumult, it’s a welcome oasis of calm, the perfect place to soak up the art of a genius while surrounded by the unfailing beauty of nature.
Open every day but Monday, from 10am–6:30pm. Last entry at 5:30pm. Tickets 12€ for adults, 9€ for non-EU members ages 18–25, free for EU members 25 and under. Free for all under 18.