Birth of Auguste Rodin on 12 November in the Rue de l'Arbalète in the 5th arrondissement, a poor area of Paris.


At the age of 14, Rodin persuades his father to let him attend the Ecole Impériale Spéciale de Dessin et de Mathématiques - known as the Petite Ecole - where he is taught by the painter Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran. These four years are essential to his training: while learning traditional techniques, he hones his power of observation and practises drawing from memory.


Earliest sculpture : Bust of Jean-Baptiste, his father, portrayed as a Roman legislator.


Rodin starts working for the sculptor Albert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, for whom he produces decorative works, most frequently signed by his employer.

The young sculptor learns all the ins and outs of running a large studio. The most representative work from this period is Young Woman in a Floral Hat, which the handling and concern for detail reflect the type of ornemental sculpture of this period.


Exhibit of The Age of Bronze at the Salon des Artistes Français in Paris. Rodin is accused of having made a life cast of his model.

Deeply insulted, the sculptor puts together a hefty file containing evidence and photographs of the model, a young Belgian soldier called Auguste Neyt.


The French State commissions Rodin to design a portal for a future museum of decorative arts.

Inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy, he would work on The Gates of Hell project for the rest of his life, without ever delivering it or seeing it cast in bronze. The Gates of Hell would remain a repertory of figures, constantly reworked, rearranged and modified, which Rodin gradually built up and was to draw on throughout his carrer.


Rodin meets Camille Claudel, then aged 19. No documents establishing the exact date on which they met nor how they actually met.

Rodin is fascinated by his new pupil's fiery personality and outstanding talent.

This fused and tormented relationship forever marked the sculptor.


The French State commissions a marble version of The Kiss, for the Paris's Exposition Universelle of 1889.


Rodin purchases the Villa des Brillants in Meudon, which he has rented since 1893. In Meudon he is however still within close proximity of his studio in Paris, to which he can commute by train or by boat.


To coincide with the Exposition Universelle, he decides to organize his first solo exhibition in France in a pavilion specially built for the occasion on the Place de l'Alma, Paris.

Almost one and a half month after the official opening of the Exposition Universelle, Rodin inaugurates his own exhibition : arists, politics, connoisseurs and collectors, men of letters and journalists, musicians and dancers of all countries, all attend the lesson of the master.


New property of the city of Paris, thanks to a campaign of donations organized by Rodin' admirers, The Thinker is installed place du Pantheon in Paris.


Rainer Maria Rilke tells Rodin about the Hôtel Biron. Threatened with demolition, this neglected former 18th century mansion was in the hands of the receiver and temporarily leased to various artists and writers for a very low rent.

The sculptor decides to move in. He uses the place as a showroom to receive admirers, art dealers and collectors.

In the garden, he installs some antiques from his collection.


The sculptor is seriously ill. A stroke has left him in a state of mental lethargy.

He offers to donate all his works to the French State on condition that the Hôtel Biron is converted into a museum in his honour. The Chambre des Députés then the Sénat accept the donation and the Assemblée Nationale vote in the establishment of the Musée Rodin in the Hôtel Biron.


Rodin marries Rose Beuret on 29 January in Meudon, two weeks before her death on 14 February.

Rodin dies on 17 November. He is buried on 24 November beside his wife Rose in Meudon. A large scale cast of The Thinker is erected on their grave.


The museum opens to the public on 4 August.

Rodin and Camille Claudel
Rodin's Donation
Official Reproductions