The Thinker (Le Penseur) – Auguste Rodin

The Thinker (Le Penseur), originally called The Poet, is part of the larger, unfinished, work The Gates of Hell by Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), commissioned by the Directorate of Fine Arts, which he began in 1880 and worked on until his death.

The smaller version is located above the door panels of The Gates of Hell, which work is majorly composed of Rodin’s sketches of various Dante characters, probably based on his admiration of Dante’s Inferno.

The first large bronze cast figure of The Thinker was completed in 1902 and finally publicly presented in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair. There were 20 original castings made, as well as other versions that exist and are on display worldwide.

Many interpretations of The Thinker exist, including that it represents Dante looking down upon characters in the Inferno, or that it is Rodin himself meditating about his work, and even that it is Adam contemplating mankind’s demise caused by his original sin.

Regardless of the interpretation placed upon it, The Thinker remains a powerful work and is often used to symbolize philosophy.

Over For Now.

Main Street One