From the Musée Rodin Website:
"This website is the only official site on Rodin admitted by the
musée Rodin of Paris. The musée Rodin is a national museum, an
external service of the Direction des musées de France of the Ministry
of Culture and Communication. The content of any other site related to
Rodin engages solely the responsability of its author."
Photo: E. Steichen
Musée Rodin / Hôtel Biron, Paris
77, Rue de Varenne
F - 75007 Paris
Tel. +33 -1 - 44 18 61 10
Fax +33 -1 - 45 51 17 52
The Musée Rodin in Paris and its sister museum in Meudon were
created through donations by Rodin to the French State. Not only do they
contain the world´s most complete body of Rodin work (more than 6,600
sculptures, ca. 8,000 drawings) but they also administer the art Rodin
had collected himself and his personal archives. The Photo Department
manages an archive of ca. 8,000 photos, including historical photos by
Steichen, Bulloz, Drouet and others.
For major Rodin exhibitions all around the world, the Musée Rodin is
asked for assistance and expertise. In Paris, the museum has organized
many theme exhibitions on different aspects of Rodin´s work.
Since Rodin granted the French State the right to create additional
casts from the original plaster moulds, the Musée Rodin at some
occasions commissions specialized foundries to produce new copies - like
the 12th copie of the Bourgeois de Calais group for the Ho-Am Art
Museum/Samsung Foundation in Seoul, 1995.
In 1956 French law limited production to 12 casts of each model that had
never been cast during Rodin´s lifetime. A system of numbering was
established by French legislation in 1968 whereby the first eight of the
12 casts, numbered 1/8 - 8/8 have been available to the public for
purchase; the last four, numbered I/IV- IV/IV, have been reserved for
cultural institutions. This law was reestablished and strictly imposed
The Paris Museum is located on the premises of the Hôtel Biron, built
in 1728. Rodin had rented its ground floor and arranged that it was
turned into a museum for his work. The museum shows highlights from the
different sections of the collection.
The Gates of Hell and the Thinker are located outside near the entrance.
Behind the main building, the sculpture park shows many more pieces. The
bookshop sells a wide range of Rodin books, exhibition catalogs,
posters, postcards; the museum has published a series of catalogues and
scientific studies on various apects of Rodin´s work.
The museum´s Website in French and English offers a very fine overview
and lengthy illustrated articles. These texts by Antoinette Le
Normand-Romain and her colleagues are the finest introductions to
different aspects of Rodin´s life and work on the Internet, together
with the Cantor Foundation Website.
What the Musée Rodin Homepage does not tell us, however, is that
a complete inventory list of the Museum is accessable through the JOCONDE
Database. Thanks to the centralistic perfection of the French
Ministry of Culture a 9,000-item list with detailed notes on each
sculpture or plaster piece can be researched. Some 120 drawings are
included as well. Learn how to use the Joconde Database here.
The Museum and its Collections /Das Museum und seine Sammlungen,
Éditions Scala, Paris.
Gates of Hell/Plaster
Photo: Erik Mesmerg
Musée Rodin, Meudon
Villa des Brillants
19 Avenue Auguste Rodin
F - 92190 Meudon
Tel. +33 - 1 - 41 14 35 00
Fax +33 - 1 - 45 34 36 54
Since 1893, Rodin had lived in this house with Rose Beurret, whom he
married only shortly before their deaths. Both are buried here. A
full-size copy of The Thinker is dominating the tomb of Rodin and Rose
The Meudon museum has a huge collection of plaster casts, that Rodin
used himself as an inventory of his work, documenting the different
stages of the sculpture projects he worked on and supplying him with a
variety of forms he would combine in new creations. Here you can find
the plasters for The Gates of Hell, The Burghers of Calais, Balzac, The
Monument to Victor Hugo, The Monument to Whistler and other Rodin
sculptures that have made history.
As the Musée Rodin Website
explains, as soon as the sculptor is satisfied with his clay model, he
has an impression made. Since the initial clay model is nearly always
destroyed during the casting operation, the plaster cast extracted from
the mould is the first permanent shape of a work.
Antoinette le Normand-Romain & Hélène Marraud: Rodin à Meudon -
La Villa des Brillants. Musée Rodin, Paris, 1996.