Rendez-vous to the Rodin museum in Paris
The Rodin Museum, museum in Paris based in the Hôtel Biron, showcases the sculptures, drawings, and other works of the French artist Auguste Rodin. In 2012-2015, it began work on the museography and the renovation of the Hôtel Biron, home of the permanent collections.
The Hôtel Biron, which covers 3 hectares (7.4 acres) of land in Paris, was completed in 1730 by Jean Aubert. Rodin moved into the Hôtel Biron in 1908 and continued his work there until his death. As Rodin fell very ill in 1916, the French government called for the establishment of a museum to house his work. Three years later the Hôtel Biron officially opened as the primary museum displaying Rodin’s artistic accomplishments.
The museum includes nearly 400 pieces of art by Rodin among its galleries and surrounding gardens. Perhaps the most famous of Rodin’s sculptures, The Thinker (1880), is showcased in the gardens opposite to The Gates of Hell, a work that consumed him over the last three decades of his life. Rodin died before completing this sculpture, which embodies scenes from Dante’s Inferno. Other statues found in the garden include Balzac and The Burghers of Calais. Rodin created many busts of friends and famous figures, including the French writer Victor Hugo, the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler, and the
English socialite-turned-writer Vita Sackville-West. Many of these creations can be found in the museum. The Bronze Age (1876), one of his earlier statues, was inspired by a trip to Italy, where Rodin studied the sculptures of the Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo. The marble statue The Kiss (1886), once considered inappropriate for public viewing, is today a centrepiece of the museum.
Renovation of the hôtel Biron
After a complete restoration over the past three years, the magnificent Hôtel Biron, home of the Rodin Museum in Paris since 1919, will reopen its doors to the public on 12 November 2015, on the 175th birthday of the famous French sculptor.
The 18th-century palace required extensive updating and a redesign of its interior to meet the standards of a modern museum. It had not undergone full renovation since Auguste Rodin himself used it as his Paris studio until his death in 1917.
The renovation has allowed the museum to completely rethink its exhibition space, and to show the work of Rodin and some of his contemporaries – including his pupil and lover Camille Claudel – in a new light. The new layout will highlight the sculptor’s creative development. In particular, some of his works in plaster have been brought out of storage to be displayed, many for the first time, to illustrate the evolution of his work.
The exhibition space, spread across 18 rooms, will be both a chronology of Rodin’s life and a thematic exploration of his work. One room, ‘Rodin at the Hôtel Biron’, will recreate the space exactly as it was when the sculptor lived and worked there, with its original furniture, works by Rodin himself and pieces from his vast collection of antiquities, which was an important influence on his work.
This collection of thousands of fragments of Ancient Greek and Roman sculpture, which Rodin used to buy in job lots from antiques dealers, will itself be the subject of another room, ‘Rodin and Antiquity’. Some 100 pieces from the collection will be displayed around Rodin’s seminal Greek-influenced sculpture The Walking Man, reflecting the sculptor’s admiration of antiquity.
- R.E.R : Invalides (ligne C) puis bus n°169 (arrêt Paul Bert)
- Métro : Varenne (ligne 13) ou Invalides (ligne 13, ligne 8)
Musée Rodin (hôtel Biron)
79 Rue de Varenne