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."

The Thought
Photo: Bulloz

Cambodgian Dancers

Balzac Monument
Photo: E. Steichen

Musée Rodin / Hôtel Biron, Paris

77, Rue de Varenne
F - 75007 Paris
Mo. Varenne

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 in 1981.

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: Choumoff

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 Beurret.

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.


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Last update of this page: 19.09.2003