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Auguste Rodin

The Thinker (French: Le Penseur) is a bronze and marble sculpture by Auguste Rodin held in the Musée Rodin in Paris. It depicts a man in sober meditation battling with a powerful internal struggle.[1] It is often used to represent philosophy.

Originally named The Poet, the piece was part of a commission by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris to create a monumental portal to act as the door of the museum. Rodin based his theme on The Divine Comedy of Dante and entitled the portal The Gates of Hell. Each of the statues in the piece represented one of the main characters in the epic poem. The Thinker was originally meant to depict Dante in front of the Gates of Hell, pondering his great poem. (In the final sculpture, a miniature of the statue sits atop the gates, pondering the hellish fate of those beneath him.) The sculpture is nude, as Rodin wanted a heroic figure in the tradition of Michelangelo, to represent intellect as well as poetry.

Rodin made a first small plaster version around 1880. The first large-scale bronze cast was finished in 1902, but not presented to the public until 1904. It became the property of the city of Paris – thanks to a subscription organized by Rodin admirers – and was put in front of the Panthéon in 1906. In 1922, it was moved to the Hôtel Biron, which was transformed into a Rodin Museum.

More than any other Rodin sculpture, The Thinker moved into the popular imagination as an immediately recognizable icon of intellectual activity; consequently, it has been subject to endless satirical use. This started in Rodin's lifetime. During the first season of the 1960s American sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, many episodes began and ended with the title character sitting on a park bench in the pose of the sculpture with a reproduction behind him. From 1969 to 1977, songwriters Holland-Dozier-Holland used a version of "The Thinker" as a design for their label, Invictus Records.

Further casts

More than twenty monumental size bronze casts of the sculpture are in museums around the world. In addition there are sculptures of different study size scales and plaster models in both monumental and study sizes. There are some newer castings that have been produced posthumously and are not considered part of the original production.

Locations of original monumental-size bronze casts


    * Japan
          o Kyoto National Museum
          o The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo
          o Asia University in Taiwan


    * Belgium
          o Laeken cemetery, Brussels, Belgium
    * Denmark
          o Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen
    * Germany
          o Kunsthalle Bielefeld in Bielefeld
    * France
          o Musée Rodin Paris (the original sculpture)
          o Meudon (tomb of Rodin)
          o Saint-Paul de Vence
    * Sweden
          o Waldemarsudde, Stockholm
    * Russia
          o Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow

North America

          o Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland
          o Cleveland Museum of Art (badly damaged by vandalism in 1970, displayed in an unrepaired state[2][3] according to police, the perpetrators were a faction of the Weathermen, possibly the same individuals killed in a bomb-making accident in New York City[4] No one was ever charged.[2]
          o Columbia University, in New York City (outdoors in front of Philosophy Hall on campus)
          o Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan
          o Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri
          o The University of Louisville; Louisville, Kentucky (The first cast made from the original sculpture)
          o The Rodin Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
          o The California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco
          o Stanford University, Stanford, California
          o The Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California (cast #11[5] sometimes seen during the Tournament of Roses Parade)

South America

    * Argentina
          o Buenos Aires in front of the Congress Building[6]

    * Brazil
          o Ricardo Brennand Institute, in Recife[7][8]
          o Lily Marinho collection, in Rio de Janeiro[9]

Posthumous, plaster, and study-size castings

North America

    * Canada
          o Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario[10]
          o MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie, Ontario[11]
    * Mexico
          o Museo Soumaya, Mexico City
    * United States
          o Adrian College, Adrian, Michigan, The Thinker Sculpture Court
          o The Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale, Washington[12]
          o The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.[13]
          o Bal Harbour Shops, Miami, Florida[14]


    * Australia
          o The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
          o The Sydney Opera House, Sydney


          o Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin, Germany
          o Ca' Pesaro, Venice, Italy
          o National Gallery of Norway in Oslo, Norway
          o Kunsthaus Zürich, Zürich, Switserland
          o Singer Laren, Laren (badly damaged by thieves in 2007, under restoration.)
          o Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Saxony, Germany
          o Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Istanbul, Turkey
          o Cambridge University (Jimmy Tide House) Cambridge, England
          o Burrell Collection - Pollok House Glasgow, Scotland
          o The Vatican Museums' Collection of Modern Religious Art, Italy
          o Bakirkoy Mental and Neurological Diseases Hospital in Istanbul


          o Tel Aviv in the RAD Data Communications entrance lobby
    * Indonesia
          o Kolese Kanisius, Jakarta
    * India
          o In the Thinker's Park in JIPMER, Pondicherry
          o In Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad
    * Japan
          o Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, Japan


   1. ^ Statues — The Thinker
   2. ^ a b "The Thinker Vandalized" The Cleveland Museum of Art
   3. ^ "A God Among Men". The Cleveland Free Times.
   4. ^ "Twenty-Five Years After the Bomb: Maintaining Cleveland's The Thinker". 37. Journal of the American Institute of Conservation. 1998.
   5. ^ Browse by Title - Norton Simon Museum
   6. ^ Panoramio - Photo of Réplica firmada de &quote;El pensador&quote; de August Rodin
   7. ^ "Photo of the Authorized replica in the Ricardo Brennand Institute".
   8. ^ "?".
   9. ^ "?".
  10. ^ Auguste Rodin, The Thinker
  11. ^ MacLaren Art Centre - Media Releases - The Thinker Reviewed
  12. ^ City of Goldendale - Arts & Culture
  13. ^ The Thinker (Le Penseur)
  14. ^ Auguste Rodin — The Thinker

From Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

Auguste Rodin

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