Paris is well known as one of the capitals of art in the world, with many notable painters hailing from the fine city or venturing there for inspiration. But while it is the home of painting, certainly, this is not the only form of creative expression to thrive within the French capital.
Fans of sculpture are in for a treat, especially if they decide to visit the iconic Auguste Rodin Museum, which is filled with neoclassical works and fascinating insights into the sculptor’s life.
Considered to be one of the world’s greatest sculptors, Rodin has been credited with innovating sculpture and giving it a more conspicuous place within modern art. Born in 1840, the French sculptor was schooled traditionally, took a craftsman-like approach to his work, and desperately sought academic recognition. However, he was never accepted into Paris’ paramount school of art. Instead, the artist was viewed as somewhat of a rebel, with his turbulent clay surfaces and pocketed textures.
Rodin’s style did not go well with the predominant figure sculpture tradition and he faced much criticism during his life for not following the decorative, formulaic and thematic works being generated by the other artists.
He modelled many of his works on the human body, infusing realist themes, focusing on honesty and individuality in relation to forms. Rodin veered away from mythology and sculpting only the rich and famous, following a more modern approach and respecting physicality instead.
Controversy was always close to the artist, but he stuck fast and refused to change his ways, eventually earning commendation from the French government as well as the artistic community. By the year 1900, he was a world-renowned sculptor, earning wealthy private clients who would pay phenomenal sums to own an example of his work. Towards the end of his life, Rodin mixed almost exclusively with high profile intellectuals and artists, marrying his lifelong companion Rose Beuret in the last year of both their lives.
In the years after his death, his legacy remained solid as he cemented his name among some of the world’s most remembered sculptors. He was also widely known outside the visual arts world.
With such popularity in Paris and further afield, it only made sense for a museum of his work to be opened. In 1916, he handed his diverse collection over to the government, which included both his drawings and sculptures and following his death in 1917 at the age of 77, his work was quickly underway to showcase his achievements.
The Musee Rodin opened to the public on August 4th 1919 and contains a overwhelming number of bronze, marble, plaster, terracotta and wax sculptures. It also features a wide selection of ceramics, paintings and drawings hanged on the walls, as well as works from Renoir, Monet and Van Gogh which were from Rodin’s personal collection.
Located in Hotel Biron, the museum and garden are beautiful to behold, with surprises around every corner and plenty of stunning designs to catch the imagination of visitors. The Rodin Museums in no doubt to be included on the Paris tours of all art lovers.
Fine artist based in the UK, Walter is always travelling to the main European capitals in search for old and new attractions. For the traveller looking for attractions in Paris, Walter suggests a visit to the Musee Rodin.