Visiting the Musée Rodin in Paris

  • Date Published: August 20, 2022
  • Last Edited: August 20, 2022
  • Topic(s): Blog, Walkway

A Story of Rags to Riches

Musée Rodin exhibits Auguste Rodin’s most famous artworks. Rodin was a famous French sculptor and impressionist known as a modern Michelangelo. Rodin created sculptures and busts but broke off pieces such as heads and limbs to replicate ancient Greece sculptures. Doing so turned his work into a new genre of art.

Rodin was a working-class man, and self-educated. For this, he was rejected by the Academie des Beaux-Arts three times. Rodin worked in studios learning the trades of sculpting, arts, and engineering At night, he would attend art classes to improve his abilities. Rodin would spend nights focusing on his projects. 

At the age of 36, Auguste Rodin was struggling with his career and needed to re-evaluate his future. He decided to go on a journey to Italy and study the works of Michelangelo.

“Michelangelo liberated me from the academic sculpture”.

At the age of 37, Rodin presented his earliest work, The Age of Bronze, which sought to express the human body in all of its glory in raw form. The bronze statue was criticized for being too realistic and critics believed he made it out of a mold. From this moment on, Rodin swore to only create sculptures that were either smaller or larger than life. 

They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Word of mouth spread about Rodin’s The Age of Bronze and he was commissioned for a project that ultimately never saw the light of day. He continued to complete the commission for over twenty years which would result in two of his most famous works.

The Gates of Hell

Musee Rodin

Based on Dante’s Inferno by Dante Allegerie, Dante is scene surrounded by the characters that appear in the epic poem.

Musée Rodin Sculptures

The Thinker is undoubtedly the most referenced in pop culture. The statue represents a man contemplating his life, his entire existence. The man is thinking about his next greatest idea, as all great creatives do. Some think the man is sitting on the toilet. 

Musee Rodin

The Hand of God by Auguste Rodin. God is creating Adam out of the dust of the earth.

Closing Thoughts

I learned that Rodin managed a team for his projects to make them a reality. I was also very intrigued that Rodin lived such a good life that his mansion is adjacent to Paris’s most important monuments and buildings. If it wasn’t for him being rejected and deciding to go his own way, none of his stories would’ve been immortalized.

A portrait of Auguste Rodin

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