I finally found the time yesterday to visit the Musée Rodin. Every apartment I’ve rented in Paris hasn’t been far from my favorite museum, but I never had time to go. After my morning run and breakfast at a local café, I walked down rue de Varenne past the Hôtel de Matignon to the museum. With a long line in front of the museum, I realized that I wasn’t the only one who thought it was a perfect morning to visit the Musée Rodin with the sun shining and cool breeze.
Even though I truly admire Auguste Rodin’s work, I find Camille Claudel’s even more compelling. I perused his pieces in the two story building, but stayed the longest in the one room dedicated to Rodin’s ex-lover Camille Claudel. I could sense the passion she infused in each piece. The work she did after her relationship with Rodin ended brought tears to my eyes. I could almost feel her pain, sadness, and anger still coming out of her works.
I exited the Hotel Brion (where the museum is located) and strolled through the gardens. I was immediately struck by the delicious scent of roses in bloom and smiled when I heard the birds chirping in the tall trees. I could still hear the cars driving by on the Boulevard des Invalides, but they seemed so far away. Inside the walls of the museum, I felt as if I was in another world, and maybe even another time.
I walked through the garden and sat on a cement bench next to the pond with the color of its water matching the grass that surrounded it. I sat in the sun while people milled around the gardens. All the serenity I felt around me made its way inside of me and allowed my body to relax. My eyes scanned the gardens, admiring the statues, colorful flowers, and shady trees. I was surprised to see the shiny, gold dome of the Invalides just behind the trees, but it made me smile. The sun warmed up my back while a cool breeze swept across my face.
I wish I had brought my camera with me to Paris, but I didn’t bring it this time. I kept wanting to take a picture to capture the beauty I saw in the gardens, but couldn’t. Instead, I had to take in my surroundings by studying the beauty longer, breathing them in deeper, and sitting in silence. I wanted to imprint my memories of that day even more through my senses.
It was a joy for me to visit the Musée Rodin and admire the amazing works of art both in the museum and in the gardens. In the morning when I run by, I always look through the windows at “Les Bourgeois de Calais (The Burghers of Calais)” monument with roses all around it. Even if I don’t plan on visiting the museum again during this trip, just glancing at the gardens reminds me of all beauty behind the tall cement walls.
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