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Sculptor, painter, sketcher, engraver and collector Auguste Rodin donated his entire collection to the French state in 1908 on the proviso that it dedicate his former workshop and showroom, the beautiful 1730 Hôtel Biron, to displaying his works. They’re now installed not only in the mansion itself, but also in its rose-filled garden – one of the most peaceful places in central Paris and a wonderful spot to contemplate his famous work The Thinker.
Prepurchase tickets online to avoid queuing.
Other sculptural highlights are The Gates of Hell, the 180 figures of which comprise an intricate scene from Dante’s Inferno; Rodin’s marble monument to love, The Kiss; and the world's largest collection of works by Rodin’s protégé and muse, Camille Claudel.
Magnificent renovations to the museum between 2012 and 2015 – the first since Rodin worked here until his death in 1917 – included the creation of a new paint colour, Biron Grey, by British company Farrow & Ball, which now provides a backdrop to the sculptures. On the 1st floor, in room 12, admire paintings by Van Gogh and Monet that belonged to Rodin.
The ground-floor 'Rodin at the Hôtel Biron' room, its wood panelling painted a soft sage green, incorporates an eclectic collection of sculptures and curiosities acquired by Rodin and placed in the room in which he worked in 1908.
A combined ticket with the Musée d'Orsay costs €21; tickets are valid for a single visit to each museum within three months. An audioguide costs €6. End your visit with a relaxed drink al fresco in the museum's garden café (closes 5pm).