Paris is filled with museums and a few stand out over the rest. Of course, there is my love, the Musée du Louvre, and the Orsay and smaller ones like the Picasso and the Delacroix. However, one that might not be on the list for those heading to Paris for just a few days but should be is the Musée Rodin.
On today’s new episode of Paris History Avec a Hemingway on La Vie Creative Podcast we jump into the history of the museum and the life it had before Rodin discovered it.
The Musée Rodin is housed in the Hotel Biron but that's not where the story begins. Wealthy wig maker Abraham Peyrene de Moras was also a close confidant of Louise Francoise de Bourbon, the legitimized daughter of Louis XIV and past podcast subject, Madame de Montespan. Moras tapped architect Jean-Jacques Aubert who also designed the nearby Palais Bourbon for Louise Francoise. Between 1727 & 1732 on the Rue de Varenne outside the city of Paris, the Louis XIV-style mansion was built.
Moras only enjoyed it for a few years before he died in 1736 and his widow rented it to Louise-Benedicte de Bourbon-Condé, wife of another legitimate child of XIV. It was Louise that would add the beautiful carved wood moldings and paintings above the doors that still remain today.
In 1753 the Marshall de Biron purchased it and it was under Biron that the gardens came to life. The mansion survived the Revolution, the Russian embassy moved in for a year then the Sisters of the Sacred Heart for 84 years before they were asked to leave, and then in 1905 the artists arrived.
Jean Cocteau was the first to move in and he told Isadore Duncan and Matisse who taught classes here. On October 15, 1908, its most famous resident arrived. Cocteau had told the 68-year-old sculptor about the wonderful building flooded with light. Rodin moved into the ground level 4 rooms that face the garden.
More info and photos: https://www.claudinehemingway.com/paris-history-avec-a-hemingway-podcast-1
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