Paris Sightseeing: The Thinker Statue by Rodin

Rodin's The Thinker
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Auguste Rodin was an eminent sculptor, famous during his time, and still famous today for such pieces as "The Kiss" and "The Thinker." Most of Rodin's major works are housed in the Musee Rodin, which is located on the Left Bank of Paris within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower.

Rodin's "The Thinker" is a sculpture of a larger-than-life nude male figure sitting on a rock with his chin resting on one hand as though deep in thought, often used as an image to represent great contemplation.

There are 28 versions of Rodin's "The Thinker" throughout the world. Not all were approved by Rodin, but those at the Rodin Museum are. One is inside the museum and another can be fond in the sculpture garden as part of the "The Gates of Hell" sculpture.

The museum is housed in what was the Hotel Biron on rue Varenne. Rodin loved the building. Beginning in 1908, Rodin rented four rooms to use as his studios. Three years later, when his studio occupied the whole building, the French government purchased the Hotel Biron. Rodin made a deal where he would donate all his works to the French government on the condition that his art would always be housed in the Hotel Biron, which would become the Musée Rodin, and the artist would have the right to live there for the rest of his life.

“Nature and Antiquity are the two great sources of life for an artist. In any event, Antiquity implies nature. It is its truth and its smile.” - Rodin
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Rodin Sculpture Garden

Garden at the Rodin Museum
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If you are traveling with children, you might want to skip the museum and check out the sculpture garden that surrounds the museum. The sculpture garden surrounding the museum is a great place to let kids run around. Stretching over 7.5 acres, the grounds are then divided into a rose garden to the north of the museum, and a large ornamental garden to the south. It's a lovely spot, dotted with huge sculptures, the air sweet with roses. Kids under 18 are free, and the family rate is pocket change. 

In 1908, Rodin started to place some of his works in the garden. Today the gardens contain about 20 bronzes, including "The Gates of Hell," a work commissioned for above a doorway. The image was inspired by Dante's "Inferno," and features "The Thinker" in it.

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Lake by the Rodin Sculpture Garden

Rodin Museum, Paris
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The little lake in the Rodin Museum garden is a lovely spot for families to take a break or have a picnic. Also, food is available at an outdoor restaurant on the museum grounds.

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Rodin Museum Metro Stop

Rodin Sculptures in the Varenne Metro Station
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If you arrive at the Varenne Metro station, you can also see some of Rodin's sculptures on the platform. The building is served by Metro Line 13, the stop is Varenne or Invalides and on the R.E.R line C, the stop is Invalides.

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