New presentation of Rodin's Gates of Hell

Auguste Rodin
Porte de l'Enfer, entre 1880 et 1917
Musée d'Orsay
© Musée d'Orsay / Sophie Crépy
See the notice of the artwork

Since fall 2021, an important and delicate operation has been taking place on the terrace located between the two towers, at the back of the nave: the relocation of Auguste Rodin's Gates of Hell.
Leaning against a new cyma, this monumental sculpture is now oriented in the axis of the large central aisle, and can be seen by visitors as they enter the museum. In this renovated space, open to the public on 24 May 2022, are also displayed works belonging to the collections of the Musée d'Orsay or on long term loan from the Musée Rodin, which provide a better understanding of the richness and complexity of the history of the Gates, of its iconography and of its importance in the artist's creative process.

© Sophie Crépy

The « Gates of Hell »

Auguste Rodin’s Gates of Hell is an oeuvre-monde – a work of art with its own universe – populated by numerous figures and groups which have often had an autonomous existence and outshone it, as is the case with The Thinker, for example.
Due in part to his network of artist friends, notably the painter Laurens and the sculptor Dalou, Rodin came to the attention of the Directorate of Fine Arts in 1880. Although he had not yet made a name for himself, he received a commission for a “model for a decorative door” intended for a museum of the decorative arts that the State was keen to create in Paris.

Images
Auguste Rodin
Porte de l'Enfer, entre 1880 et 1917
Musée d'Orsay
© Musée d'Orsay / Sophie Crépy
See the notice of the artwork

Rodin threw himself into the design, clay modelling, and assembly of hundreds of figures and groups representing almost a decade of intense creative activity. However, he was never able to accept that his Gates were finished and only exhibited them once in his lifetime, at the Universal Exhibition in 1900, but without the majority of the figures and groups in the most prominent relief.
This complete plaster model was created in 1917-1918, at the end of the artist’s life and shortly after his death, for the Musée Rodin, which displayed it from 1919 to 1966. It has been on long-term loan to the Musée d’Orsay since it opened in 1986.

Le projet en vidéo

Découvrez le projet de cette nouvelle présentation inaugurée en mai 2022 dans cette série de 3 vidéos.

 

 

Learn more about the relocation of he work.

With the exclusive support of Aurel BGC.
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