One of the most romantic Paris museums is definitely The Rodin. And out of all the museums in Paris I’ve visited, it is easily one of my favorites. I knew who Rodin was when I first visited, but I had no idea how much I would love his works and the museum itself.
The museum is housed in the Hotel Biron, where Rodin lived and created for the later part of his life. He died in 1917 and never got to see the dream of his own museum materialize beacause the Musée Rodin did not open until 1919.
The chateau grounds are very welcoming with meandering foot paths of roses in the front and lush formal designed gardens in the back. The romance began as soon as I first strolled through the gates to the museum. I was immediately drawn into the rose gardens leading to the mansion. It was lucky enough to visit on a sunny day in May, so the posies were in full bloom, and they perfumed the entire front yard.
When I entered the foyer of the museum I was struck by the magnificent marble staircase, complete with an ornate iron banister. The museum is housed on two floors. Masterpieces in marble and bronze are displayed throughout the museum. Favorites like Balzac, Cathedral Hands, The Kiss, as well as lesser known subjects are intermingled and as you wind your way through the works, you must stop to gaze out the windows and appreciate the beautiful garden views.
My favorites sculptures are The Kiss and Cathedral Hands. To me, they just exude romance. Maybe it’s the smooth gleaming white marble, maybe the intertwining. Both the bodies and the fingers are intertwined, suggesting the two are becoming one. Cathedral Hands is on a turntable which allows you to gently rotate the sculpture to view the detail from all angles.
Outside, to the right of the mansion, nestled in the trees is a wonderful cafe, where you can relax and get a simple lunch, a croissant and a café. On your walk over, you’ll notice the shimmering gold tip of the Invalides Dome peaking out from the tree tops.
The café is great location and a perfect spot to appreciate the grandeur of the mansion.
Take a walk through the sculpture garden on the opposite side of the cafe where you’ll find larger than life bronze sculptures scattered among the greenery. Pieces like Headless Hercules, Balzac, The Thinker and The Three Shades keep watch over the shady chestnut trees and park benches.
The pièce de résistance is the Gates of Hell, which was the most elaborate and intricate of his works. When I was through with my visit, not only did I know who Rodin was, I felt who Rodin was.
Though popular, somehow its small size and beautiful setting make this a cozy, intimate museum, not overrun by tourists. Leave yourself two to three hours for an in-depth visit.
For more information on the collections, pictures, directions, admission and rates, visit the website.
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