Artworks
The Thinker
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jtucker's picture

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If you don’t recognize The Thinker by Auguste Rodin, boy are you on the right website.

Do you live under a rock?  This is one of the most iconic images throughout art history and the world! Gather round, I shall tell you its tale.

When this piece was first conceived, it was not meant to be an isolated statue but rather a part of Rodin's Gates of Hell. The man is possibly the poet Dante. Rodin felt he was the perfect embodiment of an artist. His nudity marks him as the symbol of a creator who draws inspirations from within himself. When looking at this piece, Rodin wanted us to feel the pain and anguish of being the creative type. Any artist who has experienced a block can relate to that tormented and lonely feeling.

As you know, this work is known nowadays as The Thinker or Le Penseur in French even though that was not the name given to it by Rodin. While this piece was meant to show the struggles of creativity, many people today see it as a symbol of philosophy. Those philosophy nerds. Always stealing our thunder.

If you love this guy and want to see him, you’re in luck! These statues can be found all around the world and in many different sizes. There are about 50 the size of this version, which is the actual size Rodin originally hand built with clay. This statue is also the subject of many wonderful parodies, voiced by Hank Azaria in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, where he's more brawn than brain. We also like this tasteless Family Guy version, known as "The Stinker".