William H. Robinson Senior Curator of Modern ArtJulie Dansereau-Tackett Doctoral Fellow, Case Western Reserve University
Permanent Collection Catalogue Available
All told, there are twenty-five 72-inch versions of Auguste Rodin's The Thinker. Of these, fewer than ten were cast and patinated during his lifetime.
On March 24, 1970, at around 12:45 a.m., a powerful bomb was detonated on the steps of the Cleveland Museum of Art, toppling from its base Auguste Rodin's 900-pound work of art, The Thinker
Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917)
Bronze, Overall: 182.9 x 98.4 x 142.2 cm (72 x 38 3/4 x 56 in.). Gift of Ralph King 1917.42
The Thinker was first developed as part of Rodin's The Gates of Hell, a sculptured doorway for a proposed museum of decorative arts in Paris. Intended to be part of a relief directly above the doors, the rugged figure was originally conceived as a generalized image of the Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265–1321), who wrote the Divine Comedy.
Cleveland, Ohio: The Cleveland Museum of Art; March 4-May 6, 2001. "Conserving the Past for the Future."
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