We’ve already talked about Ossip Zadkine’s studio. Today let’s open the doors of the second artistic atelier – musée Bourdelle.
Antoine Bourdelle was born at Montauban, southern France in 1861. His artistic talent was developing since childhood. The future sculptor was taking drawing classes in his hometown, then sculpture classes at the art school in Toulouse. At the age of 24 he won a scholarship to prestigious École des Beaux-Arts and moved to Paris. In 1885 he settled down in the studio on 16, impasse du Maine where he created his first monumental sculptures dedicated to Ludwig van Beethoven. Several years later Bourdelle became Auguste Rodin’s assistant and a teacher to many future prominent artists. The first personal exhibition took place in 1905: 39 sculptures, 18 paintings and 21 drawings were displayed at a gallery on Rue Royale. Three years later Bourdelle leaves his celebrated teacher to create his own way full of allegories and balancing between classic and modern art. He will discover the main spirit of his works – heroism.
In 1910-1913 Bourdelle creates the bas-reliefs for Théâtre des Champs-Élysées which are consecrated to Parnassus, to the Dance, to the muses of the Stage and Poetry:
He continues indefatigably working and numerous masterpieces come into the world: La Vierge à l’offrande (The Virgin of the offering) (1919-1923, Alsace); La France (1925, Paris); Monument au général Alvéar (Monument to general Alvear) (1926, Buenos Aires); Monument à Adam Mickiewic (Monument to Adam Mickiewic) (1929, Paris).
Nowadays you can see Antoine Bourdelle’s works all over the world and of course in the city of Paris:
- Le musée d’Orsay (Héraklès archer, Tête d’Apollon, Beethoven)
- Le théâtre des Champs-Elysées
- La place de l’Alma (The Monument to Mickiewicz)
- Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Palais de Tokyo (Monument La France)
- Eiffel Tower (Bust of Gustave Eiffel)
As we already know, Antoine Bourdelle moved into the studio on 16, impasse du Maine in 1885. Three decades later he got an idea of turning his studio into a museum to preserve his works. The museum was inaugurated in 1949 with the generous donation from Gabriel Cognacq and got expanded twice. Today musée Bourdelle contains more than 500 works including marble, plaster, and bronze statues, paintings, pastels, fresco sketches, and Bourdelle’s personal collection of works by artists (Eugène Carrière, Eugène Delacroix, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Adolphe Joseph Thomas Monticelli, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Auguste Rodin). It consists of Bourdelle’s studio, the sculptures gardens, the Great Hall, Bourdelle’s apartment and the extension. Access to the permanent collection is free.