The chapel

La chapelle vue du jardin de l'hôtel BironIn 1820, the Duchess of Charost, owner of the hôtel Biron, sold the entire property, complete with outbuildings, to three nuns, one of whom was the Reverend Mother Madeleine-Louise-Sophie Barat, founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The religious congregation soon moved in and opened a boarding school for girls. During their occupancy, many changes were made to the buildings and the grounds, and several small chapels in which the sisters could worship were built. 

In 1874, the sale of some of the woodwork decorating the mansion funded the construction of a main chapel, designed by the architect Jean Juste Gustave Lisch. Completed in 1876, the building had a ground plan shaped like a Latin cross but was otherwise neo-Gothic in style, following the trend popular with architects of the day. The interior design of the chapel also drew inspiration from 13th-century churches. The tribune galleries were reserved for the inhabitants of the convent, while worshippers from the outside world only had access to the ground floor.

When the Musée Rodin opened in 1919, the nave was used as an exhibition hall. But not until the 1960s was a serious study undertaken to convert the chapel into a real exhibition space. This was when the entire roof was removed and a glass ceiling inserted to let in the light

In 2003, a renovation programme, headed by architect Pierre-Louis Faloci, modernized and reorganized the exhibition spaces and increased office space for staff, as well as providing storage areas, restoration workshops, archive consultation and conservation rooms and an auditorium. The inauguration of the fully rehabilitated chapel took place in November 2005.

View from an exhibition in the chapel of Musée Rodin
View from the exhibition Corps et Décors, Rodin et les arts décoratifs, in the chapel of musée Rodin

 

 

 

View from an exhibition in the chapel of musée Rodin
View from the exhibition Corps et Décors, Rodin et les arts décoratifs, in the chapel of musée Rodin