Last summer I spent a beautiful couple of hours photographing the Musée Rodin. The rose garden was in bloom and there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky. I arrived at mid-day when the sun was at its height, so the lighting wasn’t ideal – or so I thought. I spent most of my time in the garden taking endless photos of the roses, trying to get the perfect angles, and even though direct sunlight can be difficult to work with, it can yield amazing results if you work a little harder.
This pink rose below was perfectly spotlighted by the sun while the rest of the leaves fell into shadow. It was so naturally theatrical and reminds me of the rose in Beauty and the Beast.
My favorite photo of the day is this one below. You can’t really tell just by looking at it, but in the blurred background is Rodin’s Gates of Hell. I find the visual and metaphorical contrast between a rose garden and the gates to Hell to be so poetic and ironic, in the best way possible.
The interior of the museum is just as beautiful. One of the best things about this museum is the abundance of big windows and natural light. In most other museums, light is limited to preserve the colors in paintings and tapestries, but with sculpture you don’t have to worry about that. There were a handful of paintings, but the bulk of the collection is sculpture.
When I visited, the museum had recently undergone a major restoration. I took time to admire all the intricate details, particularly in the wood paneling. I love that they kept it a natural wood color rather than paint it white – it accentuates the delicate shapes better.
The Musée Rodin is located on a quiet street next to the Hôtel des Invalides (Napoleon’s Tomb) and the opulent Pont Alexandre III.
79 rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris
Metro Varenne, Line 13
Bus lines 69, 82, 92