Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

A Garden Romance; Furtive Search through Parisian Wonderland Starts with the Kiss

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

A Garden Romance; Furtive Search through Parisian Wonderland Starts with the Kiss

Article excerpt

TRAVEL

with Ann Rickard

ON OUR many Paris visits, we'd never explored Rodin's Gardens. There was always so much else to fit in. Not this time. The Thinker and The Kiss, Rodin's most famous works, called to us. We'd passed the gardens often on the tour bus and could see they were enchanting.

So it was that we walked from our hotel in the Latin Quarter - walking is mandatory in Paris - and arrived at the Musee Rodin in the 7th arrondissement, all sweaty and flustered. The tranquil green gardens surrounding the handsome museum building were a joyful relief.

"Where is The Thinker?" was the first thing we said as we took headphones and strolled from one elegant room to another inside the museum, stopping to peer at small sculptures behind glass cases and stand before enormous sculptures overshadowing small rooms.

We were surprised by the large number of Auguste Rodin's works. He was prolific. And he was a great collector as well as one of the most remarkable sculptors of his time. The museum held works by Van Gogh and Monet from Rodin's personal collection.

And then The Kiss, imposing and large in the centre of a middle room, the famous naked couple entwined in each other's arms, their lips joined, their smooth marble bodies melded into each other.

Once we had examined The Kiss from every possible angle, and taken sneaky selfies before an attendant could tell us off, we headed outside to the green gardens with their shady trees and trimmed hedges. It was serene and exciting to be in these celebrated gardens, to stroll quietly among so much formal Parisian garden splendour. But there was no sign of The Thinker among the romantic statues standing so lyrically between the trees.

"The Thinker is big, huge, enormous, how come we haven't seen it yet?" we muttered as we wandered along avenues of sculptures, peering, puzzled. …

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