Ossip Zadkine was a Russian-born Cubist sculptor who emigrated to Paris in 1908 and worked there from 1928 until his death in 1967. In 1981 his house and works were donated to the City of Paris. The house is located at the end of a small, narrow street which is enclosed by garden walls.
The museum is not difficult to find if you know what you are looking for. I passed it by once because the vertical sign is not eye-catching. If you exit at metro Vavin, go down rue Vavin, turn right on rue d’Assas, and it is a short walk from there. Zadkine’s works are displayed in and around his small house and garden, and the location is quite near the Jardin du Luxembourg. The works cover musical, mythological and religious subjects, and his style varies with his materials.
Of course, his sculpture is not to everyone’s taste, but if you like Rodin, you will surely like Zadkine, and I wonder why this sculptor is not as well-known. Inside the house, you will find his smaller sculptures, but outside in the garden are his life-size and larger than life-size sculptures which are absolutely stunning. His well-known masterpiece, the Rotterdam war memorial, is a dramatic bronze figure with its arms outstretched and torso pierced with a jagged hole, symbolizing the damage done to Rotterdam after the Germans bombed the city in 1940. In Zadkine’s atelier, one of his works, “Prometheus,” a mythological figure who stole fire from the gods, is carved into a nine-foot tall tree trunk.
The address is 100 bis rue d'Assas, 75006 Paris, and it is open 10am-6pm Tue-Sun. It’s free. You can take photos without flash; you can’t wander back to the beginning of the museum for security purposes, but you can exit and reenter the museum; and you can not walk on the grass in the garden. I still loved this museum.
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