Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917)
bronze, Overall - h:182.90 w:98.40 d:142.20 cm (h:72 w:38 11/16 d:55 15/16 inches) Wt: 1,650 pounds - weighed by crane on 5/31/2006. Gift of Ralph King 1917.42
The Thinker was first developed as part of Rodin's The Gates of Hell, a sculptured doorway for a proposed museum of decorative arts in Paris. Intended to be part of a relief directly above the doors, the rugged figure was originally conceived as a generalized image of the Italian poet Dante (1265-1321) who, in his mind's eye, sees all that goes on around him. Once Rodin separated him from The Gates, however, he became The Poet-Thinker, and finally just The Thinker.