My Day with Antoine

Antoine Bourdelle and His Models

Musée Bourdelle is a museum dedicated to the late Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929), the celebrated Sculptor and teacher.

During my day at Musée Bourdelle, I spent some time with Antoine’s models. He was known for his ‘majestic public monuments‘.

Antoine Bourdelle

Born in 1861, he studied at L’École des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse. After this, he moved to Paris and went on to study with Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux and Jules Dalou.

The dying centaurHe showed rugged realism and classical ideals in his pieces throughout his life.

The dying centaur is one of my favourite statues by Antoine Bourdelle. Musée Bourdelle, Paris. This sculpture was created to represent the defeat of paganism.


The museum is situated on the very grounds of Antoine Bourdelle’s workshop. As well as visiting the original workshop, visitors are also able to view the 1949 extension to the building, in which a lot of very large statues can be found; like the clay version of the famous Hercules the Archer statue (right-hand side).

A bit further, a new extension was built in the 1990s by Porzemparc, the Architect, in which one can find this beautiful statue dedicated to the soldiers who fought the 1870 war against Prussia.

The Archer in Musée Bourdelle

Hercules The Archer - Antoine Bourdelle
Everybody knows Hercules The Archer, Bourdelle’s masterpiece. Here it is shown off in Musée Bourdelle (and below with a different angle).
the archer - Antoine Bourdelle

Boy! That guy looks menacing. Don’t forget he is/was a semi-God. This was one of Bourdelle’s first great triumphs.
the archer - Antoine Bourdelle
I also wanted to know what (who?) he was aiming at…

Orpheus and Greek columns
End of my report on Antoine Bourdelle’s museum. Paul Belmondo will be next. Here’s Bourdelle’s Orpheus leaning listlessly on his lyre. The nice touch is brought by the Greek columns in the background. Obviously, they are perfectly original. What is absolutely amazing is how my Nikon D600 and the Nikkor 18-85mm lens captured the light on a hopelessly grey day. Click here to access the museum’s website.

light pattern

Seen at the Bourdelle museum in Paris last week.

Yann Gourvennec
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