The Sculptures of Auguste Rodin | What to See at Musée Rodin
Considered to be one of the most influential and innovative artists of the modern era, Auguste Rodin redefined how human emotion and physicality were captured in works of art. With a career spanning over 6 decades, he created thousands of sculptures that challenged traditions and went on to pave the path for modern sculpture as we know it today. So, if you’re an art lover exploring the streets of Paris, Musée Rodin is just the place to be to get a glimpse of Rodin’s legacy.
Read on to learn all about Auguste Rodin's sculpture, his artworks, and the collection at Rodin Museum.
About Auguste Rodin
François Auguste René Rodin was born on November 12, 1840. From ages 14-17, he attended the Petite École school, where his focus remained on drawing and painting. Rodin's works were deeply influenced by Donatello and Michelangelo. It was in Brussels where Rodin created his first full-scale work, The Age of Bronze which was inspired by Michelangelo's Dying Slave.
Rodin then spent 4 decades working on his Gates of Hell, a portal for a museum that was never built. Following a dry spell, Rodin's works finally gained the attention of the public eye and he rose to fame with sculptures such as The Thinker, The Kiss, and The Burghers of Calais. Rodin was widely recognized as one of the most unconventional artists of his era. He passed away on November 17, 1917, after having donated his life's work to the French government.Learn More About Auguste Rodin
Musée Rodin Sculptures, Artworks & Collection
Rodin left behind a heritage of over 6,000 sculptures, 7,000 objects of art, 8,000 photographs, and 8,000 drawings at the Musée Rodin in Paris alone. From its halls to its rooms and even gardens, you'll see Rodin's statues dotted across the property.
From the "Gates of Hell" to "The Kiss" and "The Thinker", you can set your sights on the best of Auguste Rodin's works and even the works of his student, Camille Claudel.
Paintings & Drawings
The Rodin Museum in Paris also houses a variety of paintings and drawings by Auguste Rodin. These works include projects such as the "Cathedral" collection and various religious paintings. You can also explore some of his sketches and charcoal drawings that capture his love for expressive figures as well as the human body.
Rodin was also an avid photographer, capturing images of his own work as well as everyday scenes and landscapes. His photographs reveal a keen eye for composition and a desire to experiment with the medium. Rodin's photographs offer a unique glimpse into his artistic process and provide valuable insights into the world of 19th-century sculpture.
Auguste Rodin's Objets d'art refers to a collection of small-scale objects, such as vases, candlesticks, and jewelry, which the sculptor created throughout his career. These objects often sport motifs from nature, such as snakes and insects, and are crafted from a variety of materials, including bronze, ivory, and precious stones.
Musée Rodin Sculptures Highlights | What to Look Out For
Completed in 1904, this bronze sculpture is created in the neoclassical style and was originally meant to be part of a larger work titled "The Gates of Hell." The Thinker was inspired by the Italian poet Dante's "Divine Comedy," in which Dante himself is depicted as lost in thought.Learn All About The Thinker
This marble sculpture was completed in 1889 and is created in the Art Nouveau style. Here 2 figures depicted are Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini, who were characters in Dante's "Divine Comedy." The Kiss was subject to many controversies due to its "bold" display of affection.Learn All About The Kiss
The Gates of Hell
This massive bronze sculpture was completed in 1926, long after Auguste Rodin's death, and is created in the Gothic style. It took over 20 years to complete and was inspired by Dante's Inferno.
The Burghers of Calais
Completed in 1889, this bronze sculpture group is created in the Realist style and depicts six citizens of Calais who offered themselves as hostages during the Hundred Years' War. Rodin originally intended for the figures to be placed atop the town hall in Calais, but they were ultimately placed in front of the Calais Museum.
Completed in 1898, this bronze sculpture was also created in the Realist style and depicts the famous French writer Honoré de Balzac. The sculpture was met with controversy when it was first unveiled, as many felt it did not accurately depict Balzac's appearance.
Inspired by Rodin's travels to Chartres Cathedral in France, The Cathedral was completed in 1908. This marble sculpture is created in the Symbolist style and depicts the head and hands of a Gothic cathedral.
The Age of Bronze
Completed in 1877, this life-sized bronze sculpture depicts a naked man and is also one of Rodin's more notable sculptures. An interesting fact about this sculpture is that it caused controversy when it was first exhibited, as many believed it was a cast of a real person rather than a sculpted figure.
The Walking Man
Completed in 1907, this bronze sculpture is created in the Impressionist style and captures the fluid movement of a man walking. Originally created as a study for a larger sculpture, Rodin was however so pleased with the piece that he decided to exhibit it on its own.
The Three Shades
Completed in 1886, this bronze sculpture was originally created as a study for "The Gates of Hell." Auguste Rodin is said to have based the artwork on the story of Orpheus and Eurydice.
Completed in 1885, this marble sculpture depicts one of the 50 daughters of Danaus in Greek mythology. This too was originally intended to be part of a larger work titled "The Gates of Hell," but Rodin eventually decided to exhibit it on its own. The sculpture is known for its intricate details, including the folds of the fabric and the water droplets on the human form.
Other Famous Sculptures by Auguste Rodin
The Hand of God (1898)
The Eternal Idol (1889)
The Inner Voice (1896)
The Martyr (1899)
The Tempest (1896)
Frequently Asked Questions About Musée Rodin Sculptures
A. The Musée Rodin primarily houses sculptures by Auguste Rodin but also features works by his contemporaries and other artists including Camille Claudel who were inspired by his style.
A. Some of the most famous artists associated with the Musée Rodin include Auguste Rodin, Camille Claudel, Antoine Bourdelle, and Aristide Maillol.
A. Some of the most famous artworks on display at the Musée Rodin include The Thinker, The Kiss, The Gates of Hell, and The Burghers of Calais.
A. The Musée Rodin collection includes a wide range of sculptures, including busts, full-figure statues, and fragments of larger works.
A. No, your entry ticket allows access to all of the collections and exhibitions in the Musée Rodin, including the sculptures, gardens, and temporary exhibitions.
A. The Rodin Museum in Paris is famous for its impressive collection of sculptures by Auguste Rodin, as well as for its beautiful gardens and historic mansion setting. It is considered one of the world's leading museums of modern sculpture.