Garden of the Rodin Museum
Arrondissement: 7eme, 77 Rue de Varenne
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The Garden of the Rodin Museum covers almost three hectares and surrounds the Hotel Biron, former residence of Auguste Rodin. The Garden, designed by landscape architect Jacques Sgard, brings alive the 18th century Naturalist theme in gardening.
Within the 28,O00 square meters of the Jardin du Musée Rodin are 2,000 rose bushes of 100 varieties, found in the front and along the sides of the Hotel Biron.
Along the left side of the building, the rose bushes lead to the, "La Porte de l'Enfer" ("The Door of Hell"), placed here in 1937.
Just beyond this is the Galerie des Marbes (the Marble Gallery), a glass-walled structure sheltering marble sculptures which had been exposed to the weather. The sculptures were moved into this building in 1995
The marble "Monument to Victor Hugo" sits here. It was first placed at the Palais Royal garden in 1909, then moved to Hôtel Biron in 1933.
Along the right side of the building, the rose bushes bring you to Rodin's famous work, "Le Penseur" ("The Thinker"). Originally placed in front of the Pantheon in 1906, it was moved here to Hôtel Biron in 1922.
Later in his life Rodin said of it, "Nothing which I made satisfied me as much, because nothing had cost me as much, nothing else sums up so profoundly that which I believe to be the secret law of my art."
Most of the Garden of the Rodin Museum is behind the building. The steps leading down from the terrace at the back of the Hôtel open on to a long expanse of green lawn. Paths along the sides lead to a large ornamental pool beyond.
On the left (east) side of the lawn is a small forest of linden trees. Here, in the shade, are many bronze sculptures, including "Adam", "Eve", "Meditation", "The Spirit of Eternal Rest", "Orpheus", "The Whistler Muse", "The Three Shades", "The Two Caryatids" and "The Monument to the Burghers of Calais".
There are also sculptures in the garden that Rodin had purchased, such as a headless Hercules from the Roman era. There are torsos of men and women, either from the Roman times or modern copies of Greek originals. They are placed in naturalized settings. "Nature and antiquity are the two great sources of life for an artist." -Rodin
Behind the ornamental pool and the thickly ivy-covered trellis is a secluded and quiet lawn area with a few wooden lounge chairs. It's a lovely spot for a little quiet time. Even when the area is shared by many people, it still feels comfortable and back-yard-ish.
There is also a sandbox here for children to play in.
Back up towards the Hôtel, on the west side of the garden under the shade of linden trees and bordered with flowering shrubs, is a cafeteria, with in-door and out-door seating areas. Here, too, are restrooms.
The Garden of the Rodin Museum, aside from the formal elegance of the main lawn and ornamental pool, has a semi-wild, overgrown and natural feel to it. It is simply full of plants including hydrangea, hollyhock, forsythia, astibille, peony, hosta, geranium, ferns, iris, periwinkle, forget-me-not, bamboo, valerian, hemerocallis, euphorbia, hellebore, daphne, jasmine, roses, linden trees, viburnum and laurel trees and thyme.
Along with the ornamental pool, there are five other water elements to the garden which have the appearance of natural springs in the woods.
The Garden of the Rodin Museum can be visited separately from the museum. It is open from 9:30 a.m- 5 p.m.during October-March and from 9:30 a.m.- 6:45 p.m. during April-September.
The cafeteria is open from 9:30 a.m.- 6:30 p.m. during April-September and from 9:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. during October-March.
The entrance fee to the Garden of the Rodin Museum is one euro and free for those under 18 years of age. Admission is also free for an adult when accompanied by a person under 6 years of age.
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