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Discovering the Hidden Gems of Musée Bourdelle in Paris

Discovering the Hidden Gems of Musée Bourdelle

Paris is a city known for it's iconic landmarks and rich history in art and culture. While many tourists flock to the Louvre or Musée d'Orsay, there lies a hidden gem I believe in the Montparnasse district: the Musée Bourdelle (1861-1929). This museum is dedicated to the works of the French sculptor Antoine Bourdelle and is a sanctuary of tranquility and inspiration. In 1910 He was called to create the decorative sculptures for the theatre des théâtre des Champs-Élysées (8e), a place I passed many times whilst going to visit my grandmother- so it was fun to have my picture taken in front of the the studies. Hope you enjoy these ten lesser-known facts about the Musée Bourdelle that make it a must-visit for art lovers and curious travellers alike.  


“Do not copy me,” [Antoine] Bourdelle repeatedly told his students. “Sing your own song.”

Mary Mcauliffe

  1. A Studio Turned Museum: The museum was originally the studio and residence of Antoine Bourdelle. After his death in 1929, his wife and daughter transformed the space into a museum to honor his legacy, officially opening in 1949.

  2. Garden Oasis in the City: The museum features a peaceful garden filled with Bourdelle’s monumental bronze sculptures. This serene oasis offers a quiet retreat from the bustling city streets of Paris.

  3. The Great Hall: The Great Hall, designed by architect Christian de Portzamparc and inaugurated in 1992, is a modern architectural marvel that houses Bourdelle’s towering statues, including the famous Hercules the Archer.

  4. Personal Artifacts: Beyond sculptures, the museum houses Bourdelle’s personal artifacts, including his tools, photographs, and sketches, providing a comprehensive look at his artistic process.

  5. Diverse Collection: Although known for his sculptures, Bourdelle had a diverse artistic talent. The museum also showcases his paintings, pastels, and graphic works.

  6. Beethoven’s Influence: Bourdelle had a profound admiration for Beethoven, which inspired several of his works. The museum features a dedicated space for his Beethoven sculptures, showcasing the deep connection between music and sculpture in his art.

  7. Architectural Harmony: The museum seamlessly blends the original 19th-century studios with contemporary architectural extensions, creating a unique dialogue between past and present.  

  8. Education and Workshops: The Musée Bourdelle is committed to education, offering workshops, guided tours, and educational programs for visitors of all ages, emphasizing hands-on experience with art. 

  9. Free Admission: Entrance to the museum’s permanent collections is free, making it an accessible option for experiencing Paris’s art scene without the crowds. It also houses a lovely cafe with great salads and quiche.

  10. A Source of Inspiration: The museum is not only a space for admiring art but also serves as an inspirational haven for artists, scholars, and visitors, encouraging creative expression in the shadow of a master sculptor.

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