Relaxing With Rodin

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THE MUSEE RODIN WAS ONE OF OUR FAVOURITE MUSEUMS

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Filled with good food and wine, we strolled back to the 7th Arrondissement to the Hotel Biron at 79 Rue de Varenne.  This is the location of the Musee Rodin which opened in 1919 and is dedicated to the works of the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin.  This is yet another attraction with admission included on the Museum Pass.  By this time, our pass had more than paid for itself.  As with most museums there is a security line to go through, but after that the Museum Pass allows you front of the line access to enter the building and grounds.

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THIS IS ONE OF TWO BUILDINGS IN THE PARIS AREA THAT HOUSES THE RODIN COLLECTION

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There are actually two museums … the one above which is in central Paris where we were standing, and another on the outskirts of Paris at the Villa des Brillants at Meudon where Rodin actually lived and worked.  We only had time on our trip for one and chose The Hotel Biron because it is central and we had been told that the collection is very fine.

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THE ROOMS OF THE HOUSE ARE FILLED WITH AMAZINGLY DETAILED SCULPTURES

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  Each of the exhibits was located in a room of the house, which made you feel more like you were walking through a home with the furniture removed rather than going into an art gallery.  Between the two floors, there were literally hundreds of sculptures.  There were also fascinating exhibits on how Rodin carved his sculptures and a section on the influence of his lover, the sculptor Camille Claudel.

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THE THINKER IS PROBABLY ONE OF RODIN’S MOST FAMOUS WORKS

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Original sculptures are mixed with casts as well as copies based on the designs of Rodin for he was a commercial artist who sold his designs to other artists across the world.  This statue in the garden of The Thinker is the original casting in bronze.

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THE KISS IS A MAGNIFICENT EXAMPLE OF HOW RODIN SCULPTED MARBLE IN SMOOTH LINES

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The smoothness of the carvings and the accuracy of the proportions in the collection give the sculptures a life-like quality.  The artistry is truly remarkable.

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THIS PIECE SHOWS OFF THE ABILITY TO SCULPT AND CHISEL ALONG FINE EDGES

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The shawl of the above sculpture would have been a challenge to create … one wrong stroke with the hammer and chisel, and it would break.

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THE GATES OF HELL ARE CAST IN BRONZE AND FEATURE OVER 200 FIGURES

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The museum features both finished and unfinished works.  The above piece was something that Rodin was commissioned to create for a museum that never opened.  For over 37 years (around other projects) he worked on individual figures to create this master-work.  The Gates Of Hell depicts a scene from  The Inferno,  the first section of Dante Alighien’s  Divine Comedy.  Sadly, Rodin never saw the finished casting, which was created from the plaster cast he had created. He died before it could be cast in bronze.

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A ROSE GARDEN IN FALL BLOOM

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Aside from the wonders of the sculptures, the grounds are also a relaxing place to stroll.

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ONE PART OF THE GARDEN IS FORESTED WITH SCULPTURES SCATTERED AMONG THE TREES

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TALL HEDGES SURROUND A CENTRAL POND THAT MAKE FOR A LOVELY PLACE TO SIT AND RELAX

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The wonderful thing about this museum is there are lots of sculptures to look at, but the size of the museum and garden is not overwhelming.  We spent around 90 minutes strolling through the two floors of exhibits in the building and wandering slowly around the garden.  This is an excellent place to simply unwind and admire the beauty of one of the finest sculptors in the world.

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A VIEW OF THE MUSEE RODIN FROM THE HEDGES

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It was time to bid farewell to the works of Rodin and begin to make our way closer to the river.  We wanted to see Napoleon’s tomb at Les Invalides.

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THIS IS THE BUILDING WHICH HOUSES THE TOMB OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE

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Napoleon’s Tomb is found in Les Invalides which is a complex of buildings that houses several exhibits which are part of an outstanding military museum.  One could spend the better part of a day exploring the whole site but our primary interest was in seeing where Napoleon Bonaparte lay.

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THE DOME INSIDE IS MAGNIFICENTLY ADORNED

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THE GLASS WALL AT THE BACK LOOKS INTO THE CHAPEL.  NAPOLEON’S TOMB IS A FLOOR BELOW IN THE CENTRE OF THE OPEN CIRCLE

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THIS IS THE CHAPEL BEHIND THE GLASS WALL

Napoleon is an interesting historical figure.  He was the Protector of the Confederation of The Rhine , The King of Italy, and eventually became the Emperor of France, a position he created.  At his coronation, although the Pope attended, Napoleon actually crowned himself to signify the separation between church and state.  He was a shrewd military strategist and created the Napoleonic code which still influences laws in countries around the world to this day.  And in case you were wondering if the rumours about his height were true … he was 5’6″.  Not particularly tall, but not a diminutive man either.  His tomb is one of the most elaborate tributes we had ever seen.

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NAPOLEON’S REMAINS ARE IN A RED QUARTZITE COFFIN IN THE CENTRE OF A LARGE CIRCULAR ROTUNDA

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On the lower level beneath the dome, aside from Napoleon’s tomb, there is a mausoleum that you can wander and see the burial places of prominent military officers.

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THE COURTYARD OF LES INVALIDES IS STILL USED FOR MILITARY EXHIBITIONS

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THE GRAND AVENUE LEADING AWAY FROM LES INVALIDES

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We walked away from Les Invalides and headed towards a familiar landmark to get our first look up close.  We had booked a cruise on the Siene that would depart  from just below the Eiffel Tower just as the sun was setting.

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OUR BOAT LAUNCH WAS JUST ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS FAMOUS MONUMENT

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Tomorrow …  Magical Paris At Night

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Fenton & White

 

 

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