In the Rue Varenne of the seventh arrondissement or district in Paris extends a three-hectare park where you’ll find a true castle: the Rodin Museum, which was formerly the Hotel Biron, built in the early eighteenth century. It currently hosts the most surprising exhibition that has ever been on show, namely, a confrontation between the sculpted work of the painter Henri Matisse and the drawings of the sculptor Auguste Rodin. You have until February 28th to come and tour the corridors of this amazing building and surprise yourself with the discovery of those who you thought you knew.
Many times, we know only a tiny portion of the work of an artist and therefore are ignorant of their hidden side or of the other fields they may have ventured into. And one day, thanks to the work of some art historians, we learned that Rodin (1840-1917) did more than The Thinker and The Kiss and that Henri Matisse (1869-1954) not only painted blue swallows on prints or painted with strong colours . The exhibition invites you to reflect on what the French master of Fauvism discovered in Rodin: his affinities, correspondences and differences with the great sculptor. The only visual contrast between the two is that, compared with the great masterpieces by Rodin, Matisse’s sculptures are rather small. If you come, you can observe almost all of Matisse’s works- around 80 pieces - and some drawings reminiscent of Rodin sculptures.
The central theme of both was that of the body: its dynamism and its matter along with the love of female postures, dance and movement. For one of them, the sculpture was a way of investigating and to the other, drawing was a way to portray his search on the human form. You’ll fall in love with these two French geniuses!
For Rodin, his pre-sculpture drawing allowed him to get even closer to sculpturing the human body. His main model, muse and lover was the famous Camille Claudel, who was about 20 years younger than him. We recall that in his application review of the School of Fine Arts, Rodin passed in drawing but failed three times in sculpture: his style broke with the classical rules in force at the time. The most monumental of all his works which is seven metres high and weighing eight tons, is The Gates of Hell (1926) in bronze which he worked on until his death. Inspired by The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire and Dante’s Divine Comedy, you can see it when you come to visit the current exhibition at the Musée Rodin.
On Wednesdays, the museum closes its doors at 20.45, so you can take advantage of the daily charm of Paris with a stroll through the gardens of the Museum and then admire the most unknown facet of two artists crucial to understanding the evolution of art twentieth century.
You will be touched by the beauty and strength of the works and your taste for art will increase in such a way that you’ll want to see all the museums in the city of love. For an unforgettable stay why not make it even more relaxing and rent apartments in Paris.