Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Thinker, sculpture by Auguste Rodin

Photo: The Thinker (1902), a bronze and marble sculpture by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) displayed in Musée Rodin, Paris

The Thinker (Le Penseur), the bronze and marble sculpture by Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) displayed in the Musée Rodin in Paris, depicts a man in meditation, battling a powerful mental conflict.

The Thinker was part of a commission by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris to create a monumental portal for the door of the museum. Rodin based his theme on The Divine Comedy of Dante. The Thinker was originally meant to depict Dante in front of the Gates of Hell, pondering over his great poem. But in the final sculpture, a miniature of the statue sits atop the gates.

Rodin initially made a small plaster version around 1880. The first large-scale bronze cast was finished in 1902 and presented to the public in 1904. It became the property of the city of Paris, thanks to a subscription organized by Rodin’s admirers, and it was put in front of the Panthéon in 1906. In 1922, The Thinker was moved to the Hôtel Biron, which was transformed to the Rodin Museum.

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