Rodin’s Parisian Garden

In the garden of the Rodin Museum behind The Thinker

June 30, 2015 (Tuesday) – Auguste Rodin was a famous French sculptor who is considered one of the progenitors of modern sculpture. The Rodin Museum was not high on my list of places to visit, but it was just too conveniently placed in between the Musee d’Orsay and Les Invalides, home of Napoleon’s tomb. It was a destination along the way to another destination. Our Paris Museum Pass allowed us quick entry into the museum grounds. So why not?

The Rodin Musuem queue lined up down for about a 1/2 block from the entrance. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to go up front or not. I couldn’t tell at first. I went up to check the entrance and it wasn’t super obvious if people with Paris Museum Passes could skip the line or not. I asked a museum worker in my very rusty French. I got the affirmative oui and called my wife to come to the front. We were in.

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The museum building itself was small. It was really only one gallery in which some of Rodin’s smaller works were displayed. The most memorable parts of the gallery were the many, many different busts and head sculptures of Victor Hugo. It felt like Rodin’s 19th Century version of a man-crush or bromance.

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image from The Rodin Museum in Paris

The other notable sculpture for me was the giant, white marble The Kiss.  My photo of the piece never really turned out. Partly because some Asian guy was lurking behind the piece. By the time, the guard had told him not to stand there, I had already given up on the photo. The Kiss felt larger than life when I stood next to it.

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The Gates of Hell

After a quick once-around the gallery, we exited into the museum’s garden. It is a unique garden with pieces of Rodin’s work scattered throughout the garden.

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Parts of Rodin’s work were out in the open and exposed to the elements. There was more evidence of Rodin’s man-crush on Victor Hugo. I doubt Victor Hugo ever looked so epic and ripped in real life, especially in the latter part of his life. Just look how buff he is in Rodin’s work.

There were also some pieces in glass enclosures. Things looked like a work in progress because there were no information panels to tell a story. We passed over those pieces quite quickly.

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Le Penseur (from Wikimedia Commons)

For me, the main attraction in the garden is Rodin’s famous, The Thinker I often imagined a larger-than-life man with his hand placed under the chin. However, The Thinker in this garden is a true-to life sculpture that is elevated on top of a pedestal. It wasn’t the wow effect that some people would expect, but at least I can say that I saw it.

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View of the dome of Les Invalides from the Rodin Museum garden

Just across the way, we could see the golden top of our next stop this afternoon. In the garden of the Rodin Museum, we could spot the dome of Les Invalides – the home to Napoleon’s Tomb.

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