Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Rodin Museum

Musée Auguste Rodin is one of the many small museums in Paris that make museum-going a pleasure.

I am one who rather dreads stepping foot into the Louvre. I hate how that makes me sound like an uncivilized wretch, because after all, everyone who goes to Paris must experience the Louvre at least once (even if it’s just “Louvre Light”: racing around to the biggies such as Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory and the Mona Lisa, among others). But staring at paintings on the walls of a gallery the length of two football fields is not my idea of fun. The Louvre needs to be broken down into bite-sizes. And that’s for another post.

There are small museums scattered around tiny streets and places in Paris, many housed in what were once residences. The Rodin Museum is one of these. The mansion, Hôtel Biron, was built in the late 1720s, and there is a nice history of its inhabitants in the embedded link in the post title.

M. Rodin wanted a museum for his art and gave the French government the entire collection of his own work and others he had acquired, but he died before seeing his dream become reality: his art housed in the Hôtel Biron, which opened as the Rodin Musuem in 1919 (Rodin died in 1917). Apparently the bureaucratic art world in Paris during his lifetime did not easily accept his art. Imagine, he was never accepted as a student into the most prestigious Paris art institute, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, though he applied three times.

On two floors, you can browse and stroll into room after room, where sculptures, sketches, and bronzes are placed. Loving residential architecture as I do, being in this building alone, regardless of the art on display, is a pleasure.

The Kiss

The grounds are also beautiful, and you can see many sculptures outside, including The Thinker and the Gates of Hell. Here is a bronze of The Thinker inside.

Photos courtesy Donica Detamore and Ginnie Hart
(Ginnie: I'm sorry I was not able to upload your favorite sculpture, Danaid, but I lost patience. I'll see if I can get it done later.)


Ginnie said...

This is definitely one of the reasons why I would go back to Paris, Ruth, but spend more time looking. I recall that we had to race through the place. I cannot imagine anyone not liking his art, I don't care what genre or era.

Danaid sculpture
IS one of my favorites. If you scroll down from the link, you can see her.

So glad you started with this museum instead of the Louvre!

Mei Shile said...

Great spirits are meeting, Ruth! I visited the Musée Rodin when I was in Paris, August 2006. See there my own of the Thinker:
and I have also few pictures of the Camille Claudel exhibition:

Ruth said...

Right, Ginnie, I think we got there just before it closed. Next time I want to take you to the Picasso museum, which is equally exciting.

mei shile, I love that we both posted about this museum within just a couple of weeks. Too bad we can't meet in French. Someday I hope I'll be able to converse with you in your native tongue.

Donica said...

Ruth, just reading your posts takes me right back to the days we visited these sites. What an amazing city....and an equally amazing tour guide. We were very lucky to have you as a personal guide in learning how to enjoy Paris!

Clo said...

Do I love that museum! Great memories I have there! I love those "smalls" museums when they are the home where once the artist lived. The Rodin Museum is "magnifique"! Do you know the Delacroix Museum? And I went to the Picasso museum too, another great one.

But Rodin!!!! His sculpture are my favorite to shot. I think he's the first sculptor who made his sculpture visible from any side. You can turn around any of his sculpture and make an extraordinary quantity of photos.

If you go back to the Rodin museum, try to find the book they made about the Photographers of Rodin. Through the years, Rodin and his sculptures has been photographed by many great photographers, and they did a book about that. I have it, and it's one of my favorite book.

neil said...

Hi there just got the message about this blog from Ginnie. I love Paris and think it's a great idea for a blog. Best wishes and lot's of success with it.

Rauf said...

Now Louvre is more famous after Dan Brown's book.

I have seen only the pictures of the sculpture Ruth, Yes Paris is an artist's paradise, don't know if it is still a paradise apart from the museums.

Sorry, I posted a comment on your other blog without reading this post, I have a picture of Danaid, but Ginnie's link is giving a 360 degree view, amazing. Thank you Ginnie. But nothing like seeing the sculpture with your own eyes.
Henry Moore's sculpture were exhibited here in my city about 20 years ago, I was very impressed, but they were smaller scale exhibits. Not the original massive ones.

Ruth said...

Donica, our memories with you are a treasure.

Ruth said...

Clo, the Delacroix museum is on my list of placed to go week after next! I haven't been there yet. And I will look for that book! Thanks for the tip.

Ruth said...

Clo, I will look for the book at the Rodin museum (sounded like I thought it was at the Delacroix).

Ruth said...

Neil, thanks for visiting. I think you commented to Ginnie that you lived there a couple of months. I would love that.

I have a lot to learn about the city.

Ruth said...

Rauf, about Paris outside the museums, I think that is an interesting question/point, and I think about it a lot. Did you see my comment on your January 11 post, Appreciation?

Rauf said...

Ruth I am extremely sorry I completelt missed your comment.

I have responded to it.

yes Paris is a good example. Development comes at a cost. The history of development is not always pleasant.

There are hundreds of Forts here in India Ruth. I stand there and talk to the walls, engage in a dialogue, what those walls had witnessed hundreds of years ago, glory bloodshed love hatred.
I think the evolution of human mind has cooled down our minds, and now we think a lot before we act.
French revolution, today would have been a different story. Like Marie Antoinette fan club

Ruth said...

Rauf, no worries about missing the comment. Do you know you can enable an email notice when a comment is left? Under settings-comments, you can put an email address there. You may already know this.

So true that we have come to let our minds take over. It takes constant monitoring to not live in our minds, our thoughts, our past. We have to redeem every day!