Rodin’s Dream of Egypt

From October 18, 2022
to March 5, 2023

Musée Rodin

77 rue de Varenne – 75007 Paris

Rodin holding an egyptian statue, Eugène Druet, circa 1914 ©  Musée Rodin

For the first time, the Musée Rodin will reveal Rodin’s relationship with Egyptian art. The exhibition will showcase an Egyptian Rodin, inspired by an Egypt he dreamed up, fantasised and then collected.

The exhibition features over 400 items, all restored for the occasion, which include Auguste Rodin’s personal collection of Egyptian art, his own sculptures and drawings, as well as archives and photographs to put into context his “friends of the last hour”, as the artist liked to call the antiques he cherished.

It also evokes the echo of Egyptian art in Rodin’s work, through his research on the representation of the human body, the simplification of forms, fragmentation and monumentality. For instance, the Monument to Balzac (1898) of which he said “Balzac is the Sphinx of France”.

The exhibition is presented in sequences that alternate between Rodin’s Egyptian studio and his Egyptian museum, at the Villa des Brillants in Meudon and the Hôtel Biron in Paris. The visit also reveals several narratives of XIXth century visions of Egypt; they conjure the intermediaries, writers, artists, antiquarians and Egyptologists, who guided the artist down an Egyptian path by feeding him various visual references, stories or artifacts. The constitution of Rodin’s collection thus reveals the history of the art market and antiquarians of this period.

Rodin holding an egyptian statue, Eugène Druet, circa 1914 ©  Musée Rodin

Rodin holding an egyptian statue
Eugène Druet, Circa 1914 ©  Musée Rodin

Fragment de statue royale, torse de Nectanébo 1er, Quartzite.  Photo  H.  Lewandowski

Fragment of a royal statue, torso of Nectanébo 1er
Photo H. Lewandowski


Torse de jeune femme cambrée, grand modèle, Plâtre, Photo  H.  Lewandowski

Young woman’s arched torso, large model,
Photo H. Lewandowski


This exhibition  is part of the Champollion commemorative programme this year, organised by France Mémoire.



Bénédicte Garnier, head of scientific operations for Rodin’s collection and the musée Rodin – Meudon.