Did you know that Rodin has some works in Buenos Aires? I didn’t know it either before visiting the city.

Rodin in Buenos Aires: in the Fine Art Museum

Yesterday we visited the National Art Museum in Buenos Aires where one of the highlights was an extensive Rodin collection. (The museum has a great collection apart from that as well: international and Argentine art from the renaissance until nowadays). The majority of these Rodin works are copies made by the artist himself – the original pieces are mostly owned by the Rodin Museum in Paris.

I never particularly liked Rodin – I’m not so much into sculptures in general and I usually prefer more modern style (this has been changing recently, I have to admit). But in the museum I read about his unfinished project that captured me and I thought to share it with the world (=with you, my dear reader) because we should all learn from him.

The Gates of Hell – Rodin in Buenos Aires

In 1880 Rodin was commissioned by the French government to create a set of bronze doors with relief (=the sculpture is attached to a background) for a future museum dedicated to decorative arts. The project was called The Gates of Hell. His inspiration for the work was Dante’s Divine Comedy and he created over 200 sculptures for it over several years. The museum never got constructed in the end, but Rodin reworked the pieces to use them elsewhere. Some of these elements became famous individual sculptures, such as The Kiss and The Thinker (a copy of The Thinker is exhibited in a park in Buenos Aires).

Rodin The Kiss in the Fine Art Museum in Buenos Aires
The Kiss (copy) from Rodin

What we should all learn from Rodin?

First of all, I imagined the dedication and passion that is necessary to work on a project for several years. He must have been so so disappointed when he learnt that the museum is not going to open, and all his work was done in vain! But then he turned this loss back into new opportunities. He created new sculptures putting again a lot of effort and ideas into reworking them. All this resulted in some of his best pieces in the end!

The message of this to us all: losses hold new opportunities that we need to find and act upon.

Here’s an interesting video about The Gates of Hell if you’d like to know more.

Rodin Thinker statue in Buenos Aires park
The Thinker in Buenos Aires with the National Congress in the background

MALBA: another great museum on South American art

Talking about great museums… The Museum of Latin American Arts in Buenos Aires is the best art museum in South America we’ve visited so far. It holds a very good and comprehensive collection of important paintings and sculptures from all South and Central America. That link is only in Spanish, but read our article about it here.

It exhibits paintings from Frida Kahlo and other great Latin American artists who Anthony and I haven’t heard of before, such as Xul Solar, Antonio Berni, David Alfaro Siqueiros. I’m very happy to have got a glimpse of Latin American art and I hope we’ll see their works elsewhere too.

It’s a privately owned museum, but the entry costs only 2 EUR, awesome value for money! (State owned museums are free, or have a free day a week – even better for cheapskate travellers like us!)

And you, have you ever had a delusion that you turned back up as a success? Or do you usually give up and move on? Tell us what you think!


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Who am I?

Anna is a world citizen, an avid traveller, a passionate environmentalist. Writing about her year backpacking through South America, she tries to encourage everyone to discover this beautiful continent and pass on her love for responsible travel.

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