Even not being connoisseurs of art, many of us probably know the name of a famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin. In France, people revere the memory of this remarkable man and his work. And there is nothing surprising that the museum dedicated to Rodin was opened in Paris.
Rodin Museum is located in an old house on rue Varenne near the famous architectural monument – Les Invalides. The building of the museum, was built in the early eighteenth century for one thriving barber, who also was a stockbroker. This person has earned a great fortune, what allowed to build a luxury mansion. Later the apartments were owned by a famous military man of Louis XV army Marshal Biron.
At the time of the First French Empire this house was the residence of the Ambassador of the Russian Empire in France Prince Kurakin, who was the chief of the office until the Napoleon’s invasion to Russia in 1812. Ten years later a convent occupied the building, what resulted to impoverishment of the architectural ensemble of the house. Many decor elements, recognized by the church frivolous, were simply sold out.
In the twentieth century the building was purchased by the state, and authorities began to rent it out to representatives of art – artists, painters and sculptors. This place was quite popular among them, such legendary figures as the famous dancer Isadora Duncan, poet Jean Cocteau, painter Henri Matisse has lived and created here. Of course, the hero of our story – Auguste Rodin, who during his lifetime bequeathed all his works to the state, also had lived in the house with his faithful assistant – poet Rainer Maria Rilke – the Secretary of the great sculptor.
Auguste Rodin died in 1917, and two years later the museum of the great master was founded in the mansion of Biron. It has many masterpieces of the artist, including sketches, drawings, his completed works, as well as a large collection, belonged to Rodin.
In the garden of the museum there are monumental works of Rodin, such as famous sculptures “The Gates of Hell”, “The Thinker” and “Burghers of Calais”. In the chapel everyone can get acquainted with Egyptian, Greek and Roman works of art collected by Rodin during his life. In addition, each summer at the Museum of Rodin the exhibitions of works of present-day masters are organized.
Near the museum the current residence of the Prime Minister of France Hotel Matignon is situated, so you can enjoy and this interesting building.
This place has an interesting history. Parisians say that the intersection of rue Varennes and rue Vano is the place where the first met of the fathers of socialism Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx was.
You can visit Museum of Rodin on any day except Monday. In summer it is open from 9-30 to 17-45, and in winter to 16-45.