Recent renovations at Musée Rodin, on rue Varenne in the 7th, provide a gorgeous backdrop for the artist’s white marble and bronze sculptures, and put Rodin’s oeuvre in a new light, both literally and figuratively.
The exhibit follows the evolution of Rodin’s career chronologically through a series of rooms on two floors, beginning with Impressionist landscapes painted in the late 1800s.
Moulded ceilings, parquet floors, newly painted walls, restored woodwork, and paintings from the artist’s private collection recreate the ambiance d’autrefois.
Throughout the museum, tall, multi-paned windows illuminate the spaces, creating areas of luster and shadow on the sculptures, which I found particularly moving. Studies, plaster casts, and clay models are displayed alongside major private and public works, giving insights into the creative process.
Outside, renovated gardens offer an island of calm, with lovely views of the museum’s stately exterior, and opportunities to look closely at great works: the Burghers of Calais, The Gates of Hell, and The Thinker.
Have you visited the museum since it reopened? What did you think?
Change is in the air as Paris museums open new expos – and a few favorites close for renovation.
Louvre – Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese – Rivals in Renaissance. The presence of these great artists in Venice 1540-1590 stimulated new ideas and techniques. Gorgeous only begins to describe the works. Sept 17-Jan 10, 2010.
Grand Palais – Renoir in the 20th Century. One hundred paintings, drawings and sculptures shed light on this crucial yet little-known period during Renoir’s career – and explore his influence on Picasso, Matisse, Bonnard and Maillol. Sept 23-Jan 4, 2010.
Musée de la Musique – After two years of renovation, the museum is open, and better than ever. They have completely revised the presentation of the permanent collection; added a new area dedicated to the 20th century; doubled the space for world music; added more sound samples to accompany displays, mostly recorded on instruments from the collections.
Musée Rodin – Matisse & Rodin. The expo compares the sculptural and graphic works of the two artists, who met when Matisse was 30 years old and Rodin 60. This is the first show to focus on Matisse’s sculpture since 1975. Oct 23-Feb 28, 2010.
Musée du Luxembourg – Louis Comfort Tiffany: Colors and Light. 160 works reveal Tiffany’s contribution to the glass industry and to decorative arts in general. Visitors will regale in vases, lamps, jewels, drawings, watercolors and photographs, and four stained glass windows that were specially dismounted, studied, restored and transported from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – a technical and logistical feat. Sept 16-Jan 17, 2010.
Musée Picasso will be closed for renovations until 2012.
The Catacombs, recently vandalized, have been closed until further notice.