January 10, 2008

The Rodin Museum

Referring to the previous post, the surgery has been done; I feel fine… Sincere thanks to all of you for your kind messages!! As you may guess, I have to avoid too much walking around Paris for a while, but I have some photos in advance.



Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) has his own museum in Paris, one of the most visited ones. The museum is very nicely situated, close to the Invalides. It’s a big mansion house or a small castle, called Hôtel Biron, surrounded by a beautiful garden, originally built for an 18th century wig-maker who had made a fortune. It was later taken over by different noble personalities and was for a while the home of the Papal legate, later the Russian ambassador, before becoming a convent during the 19th century. It was confiscated when the Church and the State separated in 1905 and was supposed to be demolished. In the meantime it was opened to different artists like Jean Cocteau, Henri Matisse, Isadora Duncan who had a dancing school here, Rainer Maria Rilke … and Auguste Rodin who occupied a large part of it the last nine years of his life - although his real home was elsewhere (Meudon in the outskirts of Paris).

Rodin, 68 when he moved in, was then already a famous and rich person, after a tough start in life. He then negotiated with the French State to take over his works and whatever he had collected on condition that the building and the garden would be transformed to a museum in his name. The museum was opened in 1919, two years after his death.

Rodin spent much time and energy on decorating the building and especially the garden, both full of his own works, but he also collected art, including paintings by Monet, van Gogh, Renoir, Munch… still visible here.
Difficult light conditions, a lot of people around… complicated my picture taking and I clearly feel that I cannot not show the Rodin sculptures to their full value. (I had to borrow “The Kiss”-picture from Google.) You have to go there!


Rodin started to work on a portal (for a Decorative Arts Museum that never opened) from when he was 40 and to the end of his life, 37 year later. It’s called “The Gates of Hell” and can be seen in the garden. Many of Rodin’s best known sculptures, including the famous “The Thinker” started as designs for this portal.

The Rodin museum normally also exhibits the fantastic works of Camille Claudel, with whom Rodin had a passionate relationship for some fifteen years. When I visited the museum recently her works were in Spain for a temporary exhibition.

35 comments:

krystyna said...

Hi Peter!
First, great that you are fine after surgery! Be careful and take care!!!
There is always something special and interesting. And as usual wonderful photos with your wonderful commentary.
Thanks!

krystyna said...

First time I am first.
I'm glad.

Richard said...

Guess you have to give up tap dancing for a while.....

(NB have you been getting my emails? I'm afraid hotmail doesn't like my domain name, although I'm trying to fix that)

alice said...

Je suis bien contente que tout se soit bien passé.
Les jardins du musée Rodin sont parmi mes endroits préférés à Paris...
Il faut vraiment que tu vois les sculptures de Camille Claudel, pleines de sensibilité et d'émotion. Peut-être connais-tu le livre écrit sur elle par Anne Delbée ("Une Femme")? Bonne journée!

Delphinium said...

Contente que l'opération se soit bien passée. En lisant ton blog ce matin, je me disais qu'après la peinture, tu pourrais essayer la sculpture. :-) Qu'en penses-tu? Bon, bon, moi je suis claquée et il faut que je mette sérieusement à travailler. Alors je te souhaite une belle journée à Paris et prends bien soin de toi. Bises

hpy said...

Tiens! Je connais. Je dois même avoir quelques vieilles photos, dont une des bourgeois de Calais. (Ca me réveille des souvenirs.)

hpy said...

PS. Il faut que tu donnes l'adresse de ton medecin à DD.

lyliane said...

Un musée que je n'ai jamais visité, il faudra que je pense à y aller, car j'aime beaucoup ces sculptures et il n'y a pas que cela à voir, ton post est magnifique. J'espère que tu vas bientôt arrêter de "monter et descendre", quand j'étais jeune je demandais à ma maman :"pourquoi le monsieur monte et descend maman?" le pauvre il avait une jambe de bois.

Olivier said...

heureux que l'opération se soit bien passé.
ce post vaut bien tous les musées du monde. j'ai encore jamais visite le musée rodin, mais je note, cela donne envie.

Nathalie said...

Alors pas trop de marche à pied pour l'instant (remets-toi bien!) mais tu nous avais en effet gardé une jolie excursion en réserve. Ce musée est une merveille. Et c'est l'un des rares endroits où l'on peut pique-niquer sur l'herbe du jardin, nous a dit un jour un guide américain à Paris !

SusuPetal said...

Good to hear that the operation went well, you just remember to let the foot heale in peace!

Ash said...

Welcome back Peter!!
Great to hear that you're doing fine after the surgery.

As always, fantastic images. I love the first one :)

Take care!!!

LeenaM said...

I agree with everybody`s wishes, happy, that everything is nowadays so
fine and quick, but your cell tissues need still time for recovering :))
I think, we saw the "The Thinker" outside the museum, when we walked and peeked in over the fence, am I dreaming or is it possible ?? that was fifteen years ago!

Jessica Camis said...

Excellent post. It's so nice to read about Rodin through your eyes and see him the way you can see him in Paris.

Glad you're okay. Take it easy for awhile, though, like the doctor says.

oldmanlincoln said...

A magnificent mind and inspiration to all who struggle with art. I like this post a lot.

'JoAnn's-Digital-Eyes' said...

He Peter,
This we missed thanks to you I see this trhough your camera eyes, I saw a statue (replica?) from Rodin in the Orsay Museum... Take care and do as less as possible to recover my friend!

JoAnn

Drama Div@ said...

happy to see a new post in here but Peter, give yourself time to heal. Don't pressure yourself to get back to normal quickly... relax... yeah, breathe in, breathe out.. :P

Peter said...

krystyna:
Always a pleasure to see you around, whether you are the first or not!

richard:
I will try to resist!

alice:
Oui, j'étais deçu. J'avais preque plus envie de voir Camille qu'Auguste. Je vais retourner, sans faute! Je ne connais pas ce livre, mai je connais un peu son histoire par d'autres recits, reportages... et bien sur le film avec Isabelle A.

Peter said...

delphinium:
Merci de te faire des soucis pour moi! Tu donnes des cours de sculpture?

hpy:
Tu parles de l'original à Calais?

lyliane:
J'espère bien pouvoir continuer de monter et descendre pour un certain temps... c'était un peu le but de l'opération.

Peter said...

olivier:
Tu exagères avec tes compliments! Oui, si tu connas pas, il faut aller!

nathalie:
Oui, je pense qu'on peut pique-niquer dans une partie du parc. Il faisait très froid quand j'étais, donc pas de pique-nique... mais il y a aussi une petite brasserie dans le parc.

susupetal:
Yes, I'm sitting calmly in front of my PC, sometimes a short walk to the kitchen.... (It's the knee.)

Peter said...

hpy bis:
L'adresse donnée par e-mail.

ash:
Thanks for these kind words!!

leenam:
With some high heels, I'm sure you can see the Thinker, at least the top of him... and from the back!

Peter said...

jessica:
Nice words from an art expert!

oldmanlincoln:
I know that you have also been "struggling" with art!

joann:
What is the "original" and what is the "copy" of the bronze sculptures? Actually, even officially there are several originals (max 12 I read somewhere).

drama div@:
I don't move too much, except between my bed, the PC-chair and the kitchen.

dabrah said...

I'm a first time visitor, and I just love your blog. What a wonderful mixture of photos, background information, and commentary. I'm going to keep coming back.

Noushy Syah said...

Welcome back Peter! Glad that the surgery went well and you're fine.That's gr8 news.Just relax as necessary yea.

Today I've learned about Rodin and the history of the museum from your perspective! TQ for sharing this Peter.

p/s Peter, that's a good part of being precrastinator!!;)

Marguerite said...

Parlons tout d'abord de Camille Claudel, la soeur de Paul. Elle avait un lien avaec ma famille puisque sa marraine portait mon nom de famille qui n'est pas répandu (c'était la femme d'un cousin de mon grand'père qui habitait notre ville d'epinal). Il y a une lettre d'elel qui est adressé à cette famille demandant qu'on intervienne pour la faire sortir de l'asile
Elle est morte de faim, tu sais, c'est terrible !

La statue métro Vavin du Balzac de Rodin est un bon lieu de RV mais en son temps a suscité beaucoup de polémique

Mona said...

This is such a wonderful post Peter! Thank you for posting this!

I love Rodin's work specially the sculptures are breathtaking. Never have I seen an an artist 'freeze' such myriad expressions in stone so beautifully and immortally...I can go on gazing at them tirelessly and endlessly and never stop wondering about them!!

Peter said...

dabrah:
Thanks for this first visit and most welcome back!

noushy:
Thanks for these nice words!
Prescratinator...? I learnt a new word (but don't know what it means).

marguerite:
Je comprends que tu ressens encore plus pour la pauvre Camille!

Oui le Balzac était bp critiqué parait-il.

mona:
We can clearly agree that he was one of the greatest sculptors ever! ... and he had the time to be recognised before disappearing!

Maxime said...

Ainsi le "penseur" se trouvait à l'origine devant les portes de l'enfer. Voici un contexte qui permet de comprendre cette sculpture sous un tout autre éclairage....

ruth said...

This is a beautiful post. I read that Rodin was never accepted to the Ecole des Beaux Arts, though he applied.

I hope you'll be feeling better soon!

hpy said...

Non, je parlais de la statue du musée, pour une fois que je suis allée dans un musée qui se trouvait tout près - ce qu'on a tendance à laisser à une autre fois, plus tard, et puis on déménage, et on n'y vas jamais. Mais, le musée Rodin était une exception. (Et j'ai visité les Invalides aussi...)

Kate said...

This is, without a doubt, my favorite museum in Paris. I brought my 8-yr-old grandson here as our first stop in Paris!

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