Le Musée Bourdelle


With so many glorious districts to explore, Paris’ 15th arrondissement tends to get ignored. The city’s largest arrondissement, the 15th is largely residential, and admittedly very quiet. True, the Parc André Citroën isn’t Paris’ most exciting park, and its southernmost regions aren’t the most happening areas of the city. I’ve written before about how much I hate the Gare Montparnasse. But the 15th has many charms, and if you take some time to explore it, you’ll stumble upon some hidden gems. The finest of these is the Musée Bourdelle.

lesmuseesdeparis-bourdelle-2Three minutes’ walk from Montparnasse, the Musée Bourdelle is a beautiful, almost pastoral oasis. The former studio of a sculptor who worked with Rodin and marked French sculpture for decades, the Bourdelle is both a preserved work space and an elegant exhibition site for the sculptor’s works.lesmuseesdeparis-bourdelle-4

Antoine Bourdelle worked from the late 19th century until his death in the 1920s. His sculptures are blockish but expressive, hulking but fluid, depicting robust figures in flowing movement. Many are massive, especially the gigantic works in the museum’s Grande Halle, and tower high over the viewer. You can see why Bourdelle and Rodin worked together; the two share a rough-hewn style that somehow, paradoxically, depicts agility and grace.lesmuseesdeparis-bourdelle-5

Perhaps the most iconic part of Bourdelle’s oeuvre is his Dying Centaur, which appears in several iterations across the museum. And while the Musée Bourdelle’s many rooms are filled with excellent works, the museum’s crowning jewel is its garden, where the largest of the centaur pieces can be found:lesmuseesdeparis-bourdelle-3

Perhaps I’m biased about the 15th arrondissement because I used to live there. But wandering through the halls, workshops and gardens of the Bourdelle sculpture museum, few could fail to appreciate the quiet beauty of this south-east corner of the city.


Xx la Muséophile
The Musées de Paris museum map of Paris
Le Musée Bourdelle18 rue Antoine Bourdelle 75015, métro: Montparnasse Bienvenüe (lines 4, 6 and 12)
Free except for temporary exhibitions (7 Euros)
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 6pm, closed Mondays

8 thoughts on “Le Musée Bourdelle

  1. Thanks, Gemma. This sounds enticing: Musée Bourdelle will go into the address book for next visit.

    And anyway, when you publishing that book, the Lesser Known Art Museums of Paris, hmmm?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading, Mike! It’s definitely boiling away on the back burner, but I’ve been thinking about working on a museums book more seriously of late…


    1. Dear Tom, thanks for reading! I just checked at the bottom of the post and can see the share buttons on my page- the button is called ‘reblog’, under the social media icons. Is it still hidden from your view? Merci, Gemma



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