The Thinker, Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon), Bronze, French

The Thinker

Artist:
Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon)
Founder:
Cast by Alexis Rudier (French)
Date:
modeled ca. 1880, cast ca. 1910
Culture:
French
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
Overall (wt. confirmed): 27 5/8 in., 185 lb. (70.2 cm, 83.9 kg)
Classification:
Sculpture-Bronze
Credit Line:
Gift of Thomas F. Ryan, 1910
Accession Number:
11.173.9
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 800
The Thinker was made to sit over the lintel of Rodin’s monumental bronze doorway, The Gates of Hell, contemplating the fate of the damned. Independent bronzes of The Thinker became popular, especially among American patrons. Thomas Fortune Ryan, principal founder of the Rodin collection at The Met, commissioned this cast from the sculptor’s studio. In a real sense, The Thinker is Rodin. Brutishly muscled yet engrossed in thought, coiled in tension yet loose in repose, the sculpture, according to one early twentieth-century critic, embodies both "dream and action."
Signature: Raised, on plaque on interior: A. Rodin

Marking: At lower right rear of stone: ALEXIS RUDIER/FONDEUR, PARIS
Thomas Fortune Ryan (until 1910; to MMA)