Bourdelle Museum

Not far from the Aiglon Hotel, the Bourdelle Museum is in the heart of Paris beside Montparnasse station, in Rue Antoine Bourdelle.

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musée bourdelle

In the apartment, studios and garden where the French sculptor Antoine Bourdelle lived, the Bourdelle Museum was opened in 1949 to house the artist’s works.

The birth of a studio-museum

Antoine Bourdelle moved to 16 Rue de l’impasse du Maine, a street that now bears his name, in 1885. At that time, artists’ studios were flourishing all over Paris. This living and working space represented a kind of laboratory and refuge for Bourdelle. The artist joined Rodin’s studio from 1893 to 1908, and founded an art school with the sculptor. From 1909, he taught at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, where his pupils included Alberto Giacometti, Henri Matisse and Germaine Richier.

 

In the 1920s, the artist was eager to organise his legacy, like Rodin or Zadkineby creating a museum in his own name. He designed the museum presentation and sketched out several projects. But Bourdelle passed away in 1929, before his dream could be fulfilled. In 1930, the land on which his house was built was put on sale, jeopardising the artist’s project. It was finally thanks to the tenacity of his wife, Cléopâtre Bourdelle, and his daughter Rhodia, and to a donation from the art patron Gabriel Congacq that the Bourdelle Museum was opened on 4 July 1949. Later, two extensions designed by the architect Henri Gautruche were added in 1961 and 1992.

The museum collection

The Bourdelle Museum, located near the Aiglon Hotel, is an invitation to discover the work and career of Antoine Bourdelle in an area surrounded with gardens. Both modern and authentic, this museum-studio has successfully preserved the soul and identify of the sculptorFrom the intimacy of Bourdelle’s apartment to his sculpture and painting studios, via the splendid Grand Hall and the gardens filled with statues, visitors can discover bronze, marble and stone sculptures, as well as Bourdelle’s drawings and photographs.

 

To this highly varied collection is added the artist’s personal collections, chiefly made up of antiquities, casts, paintings and engravings. The collection contains some 15 000 photographs, 3 000 sculptures, 4 000 drawings and watercolours.

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