After making a run for it with the heaven’s about to open on us at The Eiffel Tower, we jumped in a cab to The Rodin Museum. This attraction had been on our to-do list and was a recommendation from Elyse’s mum who had been here last year (thanks Ruth!).
As we’ve been finding with this time of year in Paris, the queue to enter the museum was close to non-existent, so we streamed through to the grounds in no time at all.
The Rodin Museum Sculpture Garden
One of the great things about The Rodin Museum, especially with a toddler, is the grounds. A huge expanse of paths and grass for the little ones to crawl and run around in. Some caveats to be aware of though:
- Many of pathways have stairs, but no alternative ramp, so prams and wheelchairs will be difficult
- There are a few ponds and water features throughout the grounds that aren’t fenced off, so keep the little ones close!
With the rain getting a little heavier, we took shelter in the cafe in the grounds to refuel on coffee and banana bread.
Alas, the rain was not to be stopped, so we donned our wet weather gear and set out to see what we could see.
Over the next hour or so, Elyse dealt with Clarrie running through the rain and me being grumpy about it. In hindsight, today was probably my highlight of Paris.
Clarrie thought playing in the rain and dirt was fantastic. His first real ‘play in the rain’! He was soaked, as we had no proper wet weather gear. His parents were equally anxious/horrified/amused….. Much like the rest of the visitors.
His dash towards the large pond, yelling “BATH” was as hilarious as it was frightening.
Of course, Elyse being the super prepared mum that she is, had a spare change of clothes for the lad, and after we’d done our time in the gardens, we stripped him off and got him in dry gear in about three seconds flat.
After the exhaustion of running around and having such fun in the rain, he was happy to be in his carrier and relax as we got to go through the inside of the museum and enjoy some spectacular artwork.
I’m not the artiest person in the world, so it’s no surprise I have little knowledge of Rodin or his works. I had a vague inkling that he may have been responsible for “The Thinker” but didn’t know much beyond that.
We saw at least two different versions of The Thinker in the museum, which got me to have a look on Wikipedia to find out what’s going on. There are in fact many versions of this particular sculpture that Rodin produced. Finding the original history has also proven to be difficult. According to this Wikipedia article on The Thinker, the first large-scale bronze casting was produced by Rodin in 1902 and is on display in the grounds of The Rodin Museum in Paris. That is the version pictured below.
But then, according to this List of The Thinker sculptures (also on Wikipedia), the earliest bronze casting was actually produced in 1884 and hilariously enough is on display at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, which is where we live. So after going all the way to Paris, we could have actually seen the original of the thinker by jumping on the train at home.
And then, to top it all off, there’s a version inside The Rodin Museum as well.
Inside The Rodin Museum
The Rodin Museum is actually housed in the Hôtel Biron that was built over five years and completed in 1732. The Rodin Museum has been here since 1919.
Not only are there more sculptures inside, but also many other artworks by Rodin, as well as Monet, Renoir, and Van Gogh among others.
The Hotel Biron is also spectacular and is an artwork unto itself.
Entry fees and opening hours
Entry to the Rodin Museum is €10 for adults, which also gets you entry to the Sculpture Garden and and exhibitions. Children under 18 are free.
You can buy a ticket just for the sculpture garden for €4.
A Paris Museum Pass will gain you free entry as well.
The museum and shop are open 10am – 5:45pm Tues- Sun. The Rodin Museum is closed 1 January, 1 May and 25 December.
There are plenty of tours that include the Rodin Museum that would be well worthwhile for extra commentary and history.
More informtion can be found at the Rodin Museum Website.
The rain doesn’t seem to be letting up in Paris, so our next stop will be shopping for proper wet weather gear…