Stretching up to the Tour Montparnasse, but effortlessly eclipsed by its 210m of glory, proudly yet quietly stands a noteworthy collection of the genius of this sculptor-painter-teacher, Emile-Antoine Bourdelle.
When you’re in this shady walled garden, in which figures are playing hide and seek amidst the branches and bushes, you may find it hard to believe that you’re just a few hundred metres from the Montparnasse-Bienvenüe metro exit.
The first time I traipsed across Paris to this museum was because I was counting the days until payday and looking for inexpensive artistic inspiration. Not only is the pernanent collection in this place free, but the monumental sculptures and presentation completely blew me away.
Whilst admiring the sculptures displayed in what was once his studio, I was drawn in by the raw and extremely powerful lines and striking poses of Bourdelle’s subjects – not to mention the scale; no wonder he went on to inspire many other renowned artists of various disciplines.
For me the highlights are the Beethoven series and General Carlos María de Alvear…no, the Aurore, the Dying Centaur…don’t make me pick!
Bourdelle’s work can be admired around Paris too; at the Musée d’art Moderne, Théâtre du Châtelet, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and Musée Grevin, but pick a sunny day and enjoy the gardens, terrace and studio of this little atelier-musée.