source : http://famsf.org
Rodin's Thinker is perhaps his best known monumental work, first conceived circa 1880–1881 as a depiction of poet Dante. The image evolved until it no longer represented Dante, but all poets or creators.
The work was designed to occupy the center of the tympanum of The Gates of Hell, which were intended to be a portal of a new Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. The Thinker was designed as an independent figure almost from the time the Gates were composed, and was exhibited in Paris in 1889 at the Exposition Monet-Rodin at the Galerie Georges Petit. A bronze cast dated 1896 at the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire in Geneva reproduces the original twenty-seven inch version. The first over-life-size enlargement was exhibited at the Salon of 1904. At this time a subscription was begun for the most famous cast of it, that for the city of Paris, which was placed in front of the Pantheon.
The Thinker, ca. 1880, cast ca. 1904
Bronze. Height: 6ft. 6in.
Signed: A Rodin; stamped: Alexis Rudier / Fondeur. Paris.
Gift of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels
A partial list of full size bronze casts of The Thinker
In the US
- Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD
- Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, Stanford, CA
- Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
- Columbia University, New York, NY
- Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI
- Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA
- Rodin Museum, Philadelphia, PA
- University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
- Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, MD
Outside the US
- City Museum of Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan
- Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany
- Musée Rodin, Meudon, France
- Musée Rodin, Paris, France
- National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, Japan
- Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, Denmark
- Prince Eugen Museum, Stockholm, Sweden
- Pushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia