France // Paris //

Musée Rodin

The Musée Rodin, arguably Paris’s loveliest museum, occupies a beautiful eighteenth-century mansion that the sculptor leased from the state in return for the gift of all his work at his death. Today, major projects like The Burghers of Calais, The Thinker, The Gate of Hell and Ugolino are exhibited in the extensive and peaceful gardens – the latter forming the centrepiece of the ornamental pond. Indoors, the mould-breaking, stormy vigour of the sculptures sits beautifully with the time-worn elegance of the wooden panelling. Well-loved works like the touchingly erotic The Kiss and The Hand of God get most of the attention, but you can explore quieter rooms full of tortured clay figures that still bear the imprint of the artist’s hands. Don’t miss the room dedicated to Camille Claudel, Rodin’s ill-starred pupil, muse and lover.