Oh Paris, such a beautiful city, but one I can never properly warm to. I love your boulangerie and your cakes, but can never quite manage to find the enthusiasm to queue up and trudge along behind all the other tourists at your museums and galleries. But on the morning before jumping back on the Eurostar I walked through Saint-Germain to the Musee Rodin and found a bit of peace.
It was the gardens that won me over, being able to stroll through the landscaped gardens among the trees and by the pond, admiring the sculptures, taking in the view and having a moment to enjoy Paris. I loved being able to stare up at The Thinker and to sit down and take my time to appreciate what I was looking at before moving on to the next sculpture, or just rest my feet for a while.
The former hotel where Rodin used to stay now houses the collection bequeathed by Rodin to the state, including various sculptures and studies, for instance a version of The Kiss as well as art by his friends (including Van Gough). A marble version of The Kiss is also on display in the exhibition in the entrance building. The various studies of heads and hands and different versions of repeated motives (for instance The Crouching Woman) also make this an essential visit for anyone interested in how sculptures come together and develop into their final form.
But it was the sculpture gardens that won me over and the content of the museum perhaps didn’t excite me as much as it should, although I understand they are reorganising the display at the moment and I’m sure I will make my way back there for a stroll when I am in Paris again one day.
Location: 79 rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris