Auguste Rodin's "Thinker"

 

"What makes my Thinker think is that he thinks not only with the brain, with his knitted brow, his destended nostrils, and compressed lips, but with every muscle of his arms, back, and legs, with his clenched fist and gripping toes."

- Auguste Rodin

 

 "The Thinker" as seen in "The Gates of Hell"

"The Thinker" is considered to be one of Auguste Rodin's greatest pieces. It was originally created as part of Rodin's larger bronze piece "The Gates of Hell" in 1880, an ornamental door for a proposed Palace of Decorative Arts. A copy of The Gates of Hell can be found on the Stanford campus.

 

 Auguste Rodin

The original thinker didn't have very much volume, it was actually quite small, although in more recent years, there have been many different copies made of different sizes and materials. The original was made of bronze along with the rest of "The Gates of Hell" so that even by itself, "The Thinker" had quite a lot of mass. The texture is pretty smooth, although there are many bumps, because when Rodin made this sculpture he was trying to show the clenched muscles of his body as he thought. The color on "The Thinker" is all the same, a dark sort of shiny coppery color, the color of weathered bronze. The lines of "The Thinker" are all very rounded and there is a lot of repetition in the movement of the way he is somewhat hunched over in the process of concentration.

 
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Notre Dame's "thinking" Gargoyle

Art: Then and Now