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French art: exploring the Rodin museum

8153856285_11126967ae_oNestled away in the 7th arrondissement, the Rodin museum provides a unique visit due to its beautifully manicured gardens covering almost three hectares.

Not only are you able to explore Rodin’s masterpieces (as well as works from his personal collection and some art of his friends) inside the museum, the garden features some of his famous works that have been enlarged. With the Eiffel Tower and golden top of Les Invalides peaking up over the fences of the gardens, exploring the grounds and artwork of the brilliant Rodin makes for an unforgettable visit.

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The gardens are not only the place to view famous works such as ‘The Thinker‘, but there are also many places that offer a nice place to sit and relax. In true French fashion, the garden is perfectly arranged in straight, clean lines.

I believe this was the highlight of the visit–wandering through the grounds and standing in awe in front of Rodin’s masterpieces.

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Along with the gardens you are able to visit Hôtel Biron, the place Rodin used as his workshop for some time. When Rodin left this workshop, he gave it to the French state on the condition it would be turned into a museum displaying his work. He also gave permission to make casts from his plasters and in turn the state could enlarge some of his smaller works.

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The Musée Rodin is now home to over 6000 sculptures making it the largest Rodin collection in the world. However, the museum itself is small and not overwhelming. It is an intimate tour through Rodin’s works.

Surprisingly, Rodin received much criticism of his work during his lifetime. He is frequently seen as the father of the modern sculpture, although this was not his intention.

Rather than his sculptures focusing on mythology like many during his time, he concentrated on realism and depicting individuals’ character.

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However, even though Rodin was very affected by the criticism, he refused to change his style and eventually he gained much popularity.

The museum has extremely reasonable prices and is set in an ideal location. The audio-guide provides interesting facts and helped ease my self-guided visit. The museum even allows evening visits on Wednesdays, unlike many other Parisian museums.

Whether you want to spend a lazy day enjoying the gardens or view masterpieces by a great artist, the Rodin Museum is an excellent choice while in Paris.

Image credits: All photographs ©Coco Rosenthal. 


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