Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Rodin Museum

A few weeks ago, a friend and I went to the Rodin museum. I really didn't know that much about Rodin before I went, and I still don't know that much about him, but his works are amazing! Here's what I know about him: his first name is Auguste, he was born in Paris in 1840 and he sculpted a lot of statues, including The Thinker and The Kiss. Among some of his other works are a few statues of Victor Hugo in disturbing poses and other philosophers, writers, and famous men from the time period. Apparently he also commandeered a room at the hotel which is now a museum and holds most of his works.

The gardens were gorgeous and possibly the best part of the whole visit. I enjoyed the statues, but the inside of the museum just looks like a dilapidate old house. Of course, the sculptures inside are very beautiful, but if I return, I am not sure I will go back inside.

For those unfamiliar with Rodin's style, he focused on hands a lot. I noticed in most of the statues the hands seemed very out of proportion with the rest of the body. I guess the reason why is because Rodin was famous for this aspect. Or perhaps that is why he became famous for his hands. I don't know. I do know that every time I saw a new statue, I would somehow be drawn to the hands.

There is also a video of Rodin at work. It is truly fascinating watching someone chip away at a piece of marble and turn it in to something like this. Although, most of the time he just looks like a sour, old grandma making a mess.

The Gates of Hell (also located in the garden and honestly, this was my favorite part) are massive and the detail seems never ending. I think I could look at them all day and not see everything. They are based on Dante's Inferno and there are tons of like sculptures reflecting the amount of time Rodin spent on this work. It took him more than 35 years to complete this.


Expat Traveler said...

wow - I really didn't get that or I must have forgotten about the details of Rodin, even though we studied it with French.

Very cool pics. :)

Lotus Reads said...

hi, Angela!

Thanks for the write-up and the beautiful pictures!

I remember reading a book about Rodin and his lover, Camille Claudel a long time ago and I was truly impressed by the art they inspired each other to create. Do you recall seeing a sculpture titled "I Am Beautiful" at the museum? That is one of my favorite Rodin pieces. I also love "Gates of Hell" but ofcourse I have seen it only in pictures.

Thanks once again for allowing us to share in your trip to the museum.

Diamond Lil said...

The hands sculpture is so cool!

Anonymous said...

There is a movie called "Camille Claudel" from 1988 with Isabelle Adjani and Gerard Depardieu which is very good. Is about the relationship between Rodin and Claudel. You may want to watch it. By the way Camille Claudel was the sister of the famous French poet Paul Claudel.

Lotus Reads said...

Thanks, anonymous - I have made note of the movie. Will definitely look for it.

Expat Traveler said...

Angela - I preferred Switzerland over France because of so many reasons. But I was only 5 mins drive from the border so I did get the best of both worlds.

Where I lived was still so much like Switzerland, it's the area. They even have the Alsacian dialect, which is much the same as Swiss German.

Switzerland's trains are on time and better. Less beauocracy. Less trash, more helpful people. the list can go on...


bonnie said...

Thank you for this Francophile fix. J'adore Rodin! Lovely photos here!

Anil said...

Rodin lives in the life he brought to hands!