Nestled comfortably in what was once a quaint suburb of Faubourg Saint-Germain (now Paris’s upscale 7th arrondissement), the stunningly chic Hôtel Biron was built between the years of 1728 and 1730. The beauty of both its exterior and lushly appointed interior, no doubt struck the several artists who took temporary residence there, such as Jean Cocteau, Henri Matisse, and lastly, Auguste Rodin, who transformed the building into his own personal workshop. There, he planned and created sculptures of such skill and precision that he was determined that the pubic to view his mastery. Rodin decided to donate his personal sculpture collection to the French State if, and only if, the elegant building be turned into a museum dedicated to him, of course. Included in this deal were the grounds surrounding the Hôtel Biron and Renoir’s personal collection of Impressionist paintings by Van Gogh and Renoir. Also included were Rodin’s signature sculptures The Kiss, Gates of Hell, and the universally recognized The Thinker. The Musée Rodin opened in 1919, approximately two years after Rodin died in November 17, 1917.
As one of the most popular museums in France, the Musée Rodin proudly displays the works of its namesake throughout the building’s charming walls and bright gardens. Visitors are welcomed to recline and relax in the museum’s furniture, which was all once owned by Rodin. A special room, however, is devoted to the female sculptor, Camille Claudel, who was influenced by the mastery of Rodin and became his lover for eight years until an abortion ended their tumultuous relationship.
The Musée Rodin recently appeared on the big screen in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, where France’s First Lady, Carli Bruni, plays a museum tour guide. — Nicole Ellul
79 Rue de Varenne
75007 Paris, France
+33 01 44 18 61 10
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