This grand residence was then sold to the Marechal de Biron,
which is where the name Hotel Biron came from. And although he made very few changes
to the internal aspects of the house, he completely transformed the grounds, which were
commented on by many as one of finest parks in Paris.
When Marechal de Biron died in 1788 the estate passed to his nephew, the Duc de Lauzun,
where it was rented out for public balls until he was guillotined in 1793. But then
it reverted back to its original purpose housing the Papal legate and then the Russian
But then belonging to the Duchesse de Bethune-Charost, its future was destined to be in
line with the devout duchess's religious principles and was handed over to the Societe du
Sacre-Coeur de Jesus in 1820 to be devoted to education of young girls from aristocratic
and noble birth, although all panelling etc was removed so that the girls lived in a hard
The property was confiscated in 1905 as a result of the application of the law separating
Church and State property, and was going to be demolished as it looked no more than an
empty shell surrounded by derelict grounds. But in the meantime it served as
temporary accommodation for artists such as Matisse and Rodin.
Auguste Rodin was completely enchanted by the beauty of the house and the charm of the
grounds, so he assembled his works at the Hotel Biron with drawings adorning the walls and
his Greek and Roman antiquities displayed in the grounds.
When the French State bought the property, Rodin decided that he wanted to hand over
everything to the state on the condition that the property became a museum dedicated to
him. This became official in 1916, when Rodin supplied his entire collections of
works, photographs, drawing and sculptures along with paintings by Vincent van Gogh and
Pierre-Auguste Renoir that he had acquired. But Auguste Rodin died in November 1917
before he could get to see his final dream come true of the opening of the museum, which
took place in 1919.
The Musee Rodin has seen some changes over the years and fortunately, after World War II,
the museum was able to get back a lot of the original decor including lots of the
panelling and more recently two overdoors.
Auguste Rodin is known for his notoriety, but this museum has become one of the most
popular museums in Paris, if not throughout France, after places such as The Louvre and Musee
Within the building, you will be able to view his works and collections and outside in the
grounds you will be able to wander around at your leisure viewing the incredible
sculptures. But you may be surprised to learn that everything, including the seats
you can sit down on, come from Rodin himself.
Auguste Rodin was not only a sculptor of public monuments, but also an artist who produced
numerous small and intimate sculptures. He was also in demand as a portrait
sculptor, producing memorable images of many famous men and women, which ranged from Victor Hugo to George Bernard Shaw and Pope
And although there are other museums dedicated to Rodin, it is no doubt that it is the
special character of this museum in Paris, France,
which contains significant creations such as The Thinker and The Kiss, that makes it so
popular with around half a million visitors each year.
You can also, if you wish, visit the house and the gardens separately. And if you
prefer sculptures, then you can view masterpieces such as Burghers of Calais and The Gates
of Hell, whilst the trees will provide welcome shade on a hot summers day, with benches
placed beneath to make peaceful surroundings and the perfect spot for meditation and
Within the great house itself you can get to see other Rodin sculptures, but also in some
of the rooms you can see sculptures like the bust of Rodin, by his lover, Camille Claudel,
who was his former student.
Obviously, because the museum is housed in a former residence, the displays are not on one
level so there will be stairs to climb and many exhibits are behind glass for
protection. Yet it is one of those places that is great to take children if they are
with you when you are visiting Paris, as it is smaller than a lot of museums and even has
a small cafe with good food and big windows for viewing out into the gardens.
The museum is open every day of the week except for Mondays from 9.30am to 4.45pm and
although the last admission time is 4.15pm, you would want to get there far earlier just
to appreciate the beautiful gardens.
Address & Contact Details:
79 Rue de Varenne
Telephone: 1 44 18 61 10