The Musée Rodin is the PERFECT Parisian Museum

No other people, only sculpture!
No other people, only sculpture!

If I had only one afternoon in Paris and wanted to fill that time at a Museum, it would be at the Musée Rodin. It’s the ideal combination of ridiculously beautiful Parisian architecture–the Hôtel Biron was built in the early 18th century and has all the lovely staircases and fancy moldings one could want (though it has been undergoing renovations since 2012, so not all of it may be accessible–a stunning outdoor setting–a huge number of Rodin’s sculptures are situated throughout the lovely manicured gardens–and, oh yeah, RODIN.

Oh Rodin, you silly minx.
Oh Rodin, you silly minx.

Rodin’s sculptures are visceral and raw and gorgeous and amazing. Aside from Michelangelo (natch) and Donatello, Rodin is my favorite sculptor of all time and there could not be a lovelier place to stumble upon his sculptures than at the Musée Rodin. They have all the good ones and they have some sculptures by his student (and lover, they had a rough road and poor Camille really came out the worse for it), Camille Claudel who was a badass. I love it when lesser known women artists come out of the woodwork at these types of places.

Camille Claudel!
Camille Claudel!
Not ugly.
Not ugly.
Really, really, really not ugly.
Really, really, really not ugly.

And despite the sheer awesomeness of the Musée Rodin, it wasn’t really all that crowded, pleasantly attended might be a good way of describing it. And it was a good size– it would be hard to wear yourself out there. And there were enough places to sit and cafes (including one in the garden) that you would really have to work hard to turn this place into a slog. And why would you do that? It’s perfect.


34 thoughts on “The Musée Rodin is the PERFECT Parisian Museum

  1. I must say that I’m becoming quite fond of your blog. I absolutely adore Rodan, I saw his Gates of Hell as a teenager in Minneapolis and it changed my life.

    Comparing the thinker to the gates is silly. Although I do love the thinker also and as you know he’s in the gates also.

    Keep on posting and making the art world accessible! I don’t know art but I know what I like, and it’s you! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! I think it was at this museum that I saw the Gates of Hell for the first time (in person). I was GENUINELY astonished by them (I am often quite hyperbolic, but in this instance I was very seriously blown away). What you wrote is EXTREMELY gratifying, thank you for saying such nice things, and it is so wonderful to hear that I’m making art accessible. That is really, truly my goal, so thank you.

  2. I said a hearty ‘amen’ to you post the other day regarding the hype over the Mona Lisa. I remember being quite disappointed with myself for deciding at the last minute, before leaving the museum, to go and see it – just because ‘I should’…well I shouldn’t have bothered.

    But Rodin’s museum was wonderful! It was ‘pleasantly attended’ when I visited.

    I’m enjoying your reviews and wishing I’d had them a few years ago when I visited Paris.

    1. Thanks so much! It’s hard to resist the cultural pressure to visit those “must-sees.” I’ve given into it myself and then usually ask myself why, WHY did I go to X, buy Y, or use up my precious time to see Z when it doesn’t actually interest me that much??

  3. Love Rodin. Haven’t been to Paris, but will keep this on the list. Walked past the Sculpture Garden in front of the Hirshorn Museum (Washington D.C.) yesterday after spending some time in the 14th century galleries (and book store). The other place I think of for Rodin sculptures in the USA is Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA). They have a number of editions of his outdoor sculptures in a garden.

  4. I’ve loved these posts on Parisian museums. I agree through and through – Rodin is my favorite, d’Orsay was a close second and the Louvre was overwhelming while the Mona L was underwhelming. Great posts. Love Rodin!

  5. This place looks interesting, I will be visiting Paris for only one day and was wondering whether to see the usually toursist sights or, while in Paris, go to one of there many Art galleries! Thanks for the great post 🙂

    1. Thanks! Only one day is tough, but it just depends what you’re most interested in. For me, it would be the Rodin Museum for sure since it combines so much of what is amazing about Paris, but isn’t overwhelmed with people. I hope you have an amazing visit, whatever you choose to do!

  6. I am sad to say that I have never visited this beautiful looking space….thanks for the glowing introduction. Like you I’m a huge Rodin fan so I can’t quite imagine why I have never tracked this place down.
    Oh well it’s great to a have a new ‘ to do’ for our next visit 🙂

    1. With your blog name, I would expect nothing less! I like the Galleria Borghese a lot, but I have mixed feelings about their admissions policies. Restricting tickets and having timed entrances are great in some ways, but definitely cut down on possible spontaneity! Regardless, thanks for reading!

  7. I did not know about the Rodin museum until my most recent visit to Paris this past August. It is now beyond a doubt my FAVORITE FREAKING MUSEUM ON THE ENTIRE PLANET. It was beautiful, it was elevating, it was transporting, and it introduced me to Camille, with whom I now completely obsessed (as you probably know from that blog post of mine that you liked–incidentally, thanks for reading!). I felt like I had to catch my breath in every room. And OUTSIDE?? Sculptures in a GARDEN, where you can see how the light changes their moods and meanings from every angle?? Yes please!! Serve me up a double scoop!!! Thanks for this awesome post. Gonna go look at my pictures of the Rodin museum now.

  8. I’ve wanted to go to the Musee Rodin since seeing the movie Camille Claudel-which was a long time ago. Alas I haven’t been to Paris, but reading this reminds me I need to get on that! Grazie, Cristina

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