Discover Philadelphia’s Beautiful Rodin Museum: A Comprehensive Guide

Guide To Philadelphia’s Lovely Rodin Museum

# Guide To Philadelphia’s Lovely Rodin Museum

## Summary:
Welcome to the Guide To Philadelphia’s Lovely Rodin Museum. Located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia’s Champs-Élysées, this museum is a must-visit attraction for sculpture lovers. With over 150 sculptures by Auguste Rodin, including famous masterpieces like The Thinker, The Gates of Hell, and The Burghers of Calais, it holds one of the most comprehensive collections of Rodin sculptures outside of France. The museum is housed in a beautiful Beaux-Arts building surrounded by serene French gardens, making it a truly enchanting experience.

## Overview Of Philadelphia’s Rodin Museum History & Layout:

The Rodin Museum in Philadelphia has a fascinating history. It was primarily put together by Jules E. Mastbaum, an American businessman and philanthropist who had a deep love for art. In the early 1920s, he purchased numerous Rodin sculptures with the intention of creating a museum dedicated to the artist. Mastbaum’s dream became a reality with the help of his widow, and in 1929, the Rodin Museum opened its doors to the public.

As you enter the museum, you will be greeted by a beautiful gate adorned with sculptures of Adam and Shade. Beyond the gate lies a stunning formal garden with a reflecting pool, a large chess set, and a fountain. The garden also features sculptures of The Three Shades and the Burghers of Calais. Walking up the steps to the main entrance, you will encounter Rodin’s famous sculpture, The Thinker. The central entrance door is adorned with Rodin’s Gates of Hell, inviting you to explore the museum.

The museum itself is designed with a single floor and features a central room with high ceilings. Other rooms branch off from this central space, with red walls adding to the ambiance. Here, you will find some of Rodin’s most famous sculptures and public monuments, including a tour dedicated to his sculptures of hands. Rodin was known as “the sculptor of hands,” and you will be captivated by the emotion and movement conveyed through his depictions of hands.

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## Auguste Rodin: The Father of Modern Sculpture

Auguste Rodin, often referred to as the father of modern sculpture, was an incredibly talented artist known for his expressive works. Inspired by Michelangelo, Rodin aimed to capture raw emotions and physicality in his subjects. Initially, his works faced criticism from the French salon, but in 1877, he gained recognition with his masterpiece, the Age of Bronze. Throughout his career, Rodin’s reputation grew, and he received numerous commissions for his innovative approach to sculpture. He passed away in 1917, leaving behind a legacy of influential artwork.

## Highlights Of The Rodin Museum:

### The Thinker:
The Thinker is one of Rodin’s most famous sculptures, capturing the attention of art enthusiasts around the world. Depicting a contemplative and somber man, this seated figure has become a symbol of intellectual contemplation. Influenced by Michelangelo’s style, The Thinker is prominently featured near the top of The Gates of Hell, reflecting upon the damned souls below. As you enter the museum, you will have the opportunity to see a smaller version of this iconic sculpture.

### The Kiss:
The Kiss is another beloved sculpture by Rodin, celebrated for its universal theme of romantic passion. This grand-scale sculpture, often associated with the characters Paolo and Francesca from Dante’s Divine Comedy, captivates viewers with its bold portrayal of nudity. Despite its popularity, Rodin himself was not particularly fond of The Kiss, considering it a “large knick-knack following the usual formula.” At the museum, you can admire a copy of Rodin’s masterpiece by Henri Greber, which still conveys the intimacy and sensitivity of the moment.

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### Gates of Hell:
The Gates of Hell is a monumental sculpture that was originally intended for a museum in Paris. Standing almost 20 feet tall, it took Rodin 37 years to complete this colossal work. Inspired by Dante’s Inferno, the sculpture features over 200 figures depicting despair, disorientation, and chaos. The tortured figures emerge from the bronze surface, contorted and writhing in agony. Within the Gates of Hell, you will also find smaller versions of The Thinker and The Three Shades.

### Eternal Springtime:
Eternal Springtime, sculpted during a creatively intense period for Rodin, is a graceful and tender portrayal of a young couple in an embrace. While it was not featured on the Gates of Hell, it developed out of Rodin’s ambitious project. This sculpture, with small wings on the male figure’s back resembling Cupid, exudes a rhythmic and decorative style reminiscent of 18th-century sculpture.

## Conclusion:
The Rodin Museum in Philadelphia offers visitors a unique and enriching experience. With its comprehensive collection of Rodin sculptures, including iconic masterpieces like The Thinker, The Gates of Hell, and The Kiss, the museum is a haven for art lovers. The stunning architecture, serene gardens, and fascinating history of the museum make it a must-visit attraction in the City of Brotherly Love. Plan your trip to the Rodin Museum and immerse yourself in the beauty and emotion that defines Rodin’s work.

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## FAQs:

**Q:** How many sculptures are there in the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia?

**A:** The Rodin Museum in Philadelphia houses over 150 sculptures by Auguste Rodin.

**Q:** Who was Jules E. Mastbaum?

**A:** Jules E. Mastbaum was an American businessman and philanthropist who played a crucial role in putting together the collection of Rodin sculptures for the museum.

**Q:** What are some must-see sculptures at the museum?

**A:** Some must-see sculptures at the Rodin Museum include The Thinker, The Kiss, and the Gates of Hell.

**Q:** What is the significance of The Thinker sculpture?

**A:** The Thinker is one of Rodin’s most famous sculptures, symbolizing intellectual contemplation and reflecting upon the damned souls below in The Gates of Hell.

**Q:** Was Rodin influenced by Michelangelo?

**A:** Yes, Rodin drew inspiration from Michelangelo’s style and aimed to capture raw emotions and physicality in his sculptures.

## Final Thought:

The Rodin Museum in Philadelphia stands as a testament to the artistry and creativity of Auguste Rodin. With its rich collection of sculptures, stunning architecture, and serene gardens, it offers a captivating experience for visitors. Whether you are a sculpture enthusiast or simply looking for a cultural adventure, the Rodin Museum is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. Plan your visit and immerse yourself in the world of Rodin’s masterpieces.

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