Tourist Guide Paris

The Musée Rodin

Musée Rodin

The History

From the outside this museum is reminiscent of the glory days of the 18th Century as here the king and other high ranking representatives of the former government would come here and organise festivals. In 1732 the building was changed into a hotel for the financial expert – Abraham Peyrenc de Moras and for the remaining months of his life served as a domicile. At least twenty years later this hotel was simultaneously taken over as a residence by the Duc de Birons and the Marechal de France - who enjoyed having hunting parties and hence many a glittering celebration occurred there.

The 20th Century

From 1904 the palace became the accommodation for numerous artists including Auguste Rodin who aside from painting made it his mission in life to save such palaces from demolition as they served as witnesses to the glorious era of the Renaissance. Auguste Rodin needed an entire seven years to convince the Parisian authorities not to allow the building of city apartments on this site. When in 1916 the government finally gave in and Monsieur Rodin solemnly handed over the palace, no one knew at that time how ill Rodin had become over time. From that date his long-serving secretary Rainer Maria Rilke took over all correspondence.

The Transformation

Several days before his death, Auguste Rodin was able to experience seeing the majority of his art work and correspondence finding its place in the Hotel Biron. Over time works from other artists came into this museum converted from a hotel- including the work of his long-term companion Camille Claudel. It was this in turn which ensured that the private collection of Auguste Rodin – including the previously undisclosed work of his long-time friend Vincent van Gogh, found their special place in the present day museum.

The Present Day

It wasn’t until 1960 that the French president Charles de Gaulle insisted on renaming the former Museum Biron into the Museum Rodin in honour of the artist Auguste Rodin. This document is located at the entrance of the museum. Today over 6000 statues now stand in all of the rooms – including Rodin’s most valuable piece of work – ‘The Thinker’, which even whilst he was alive was always the centre piece of Rodin’s life. Another very valuable, yet unfinished rarity which was given in person by the French government is the monument for Victor Hugo, which was originally meant to find its place in the Pantheon. However at the request of Victor Hugo’s daughter and the grandson of Auguste Rodin, it found its place here in this museum instead.