Rodin Museum is currently closed, but you can visit a special exhibition “The Laboratory of Creation”
We love the work of Auguste Rodin and come here to the Hotel Biron almost every visit to Paris, usually just to wander in the garden and wonder anew at the power of his sculptures.
The Hotel Biron and Rodin Museum is currently closed for major renovations and restoration, which are predicted to be finished by November 2015.
But, you can still wander in the gardens and see many of Rodin’s wonderful bronze masterpieces in the lovely natural setting. In the warmer weather the gardens are ablaze with colorful flowers, especially roses, which highlight the dark metal of the bronzes. Even in early spring, when we were there, there’s enough greenery to make it pretty. The only thing lacking right now in the gardens is the view back onto the Hotel (mansion), as it’s sheathed in scaffolding. All the renovations will be great when they are done, though. Last time we were here, they were working on the famous outdoor statue, “The Thinker”, but he’s clear now, and looking as amazing as ever. Even though it was cool and drizzling (and threatening worse), there were still many visitors in the gardens.
Because the actual museum is currently closed, the museum curators have mounted a special exhibition in the auditorium attached to the entrance building. It’s called, Rodin: The Laboratory of Creation. They’ve brought together many of the works from the museum and from the archives to tell the story of the development of some of some of Rodin’s major works: The Kiss, Gates of Hell, Balzac, Burghers of Calais, Victor Hugo, Tribute to Whistler.
We see a series of sketches, plaster casts, small models etc for each, plus a story (and sometimes photos) of the progression of each piece. This is a fascinating way to do this as it gives a glimpse into the thinking and processes of crafting a masterpiece. And it seems that for Rodin it was always a process—trying this way, trying that, until he had it to his liking, which sadly wasn’t always to the liking of the Arts Commission, which sometimes deemed the works inappropriate and not seemly.
As we know, though, history tells a different story: the international public and community love the works of Rodin, and flock here to prove that.
This is not a large exhibition, but is very interesting and well worth a couple of hours.
Entrance to the exhibition and gardens is 7 euros; to just the gardens is 2 euros. The gardens have a tearoom too.