The Genius of the Sculptor

The Genius of the Sculptor

c. 1880-1883

Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Pen and brown ink

Support: Lightweight, translucent beige wove paper discolored to yellow-brown

Sheet: 26.3 x 18.9 cm (10 3/8 x 7 7/16 in.)

Bequest of Muriel Butkin 2008.404



Rodin repeatedly explored the theme of creative male genius in major works, such as the famous Thinker, a cast of which sits outside the Cleveland Museum of Art on the south terrace. In this drawing, Rodin depicted the artist in active thought with his hand on his head, accompanied by a wingless “genius” floating above him. He derived this symbol of inner creative energy from the traditional subject of the winged muse, examples of which also appear on Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling as companions to God the Father.

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