The Thinker by artist Auguste Rodin – Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO

[Joseph Rishel] We all know this image of this man scrunched over, big furrowed brow. I’m Joe Rishel. I’m a curator at the Philadelphia Museum and one of my happiest obligations is also to be in charge of the Rodin Museum. We’re standing here in front of the world’s most famous sculpted images. It’s The Thinker by Auguste Rodin. [Mark di Suvero] Rodin, he had a tremendous influence on my work. My name is Mark di Suvero and I am a sculptor. I have been working in wood and steel for the last 50 years. [Rishel] This, from Rodin’s point of view, is every man. He’s none of these things which public sculpture is often about when depicting heroes. The president, the czar, the cardinal, anything like that. This is universal mankind stripped of any attribute – he’s buck naked. But Rodin was really trying to do here is to create this everyman who is heroically splendid. [di Suvero] He was able to elevate, to the level of sculpture, people and scenes that weren’t considered worthy. [Rishel] This is a working physique of someone who builds railroads, who works at a steel factory or something. This is the beginning of a very romantic fantasy that every man is the worker. Look closely because it is a very unrealistic thing. If this guy stood up, he would be, what, 18 feet tall. The back, it is so anatomically not by the books. Way beyond observed anatomy or any muscle you care to develop in the gym. [di Suvero] Sure there’s a big back and there’s the muscles of the legs that are so well done. But it isn’t that that captures you. The way that the body is crouched in that kind of complete concentration is the real thrust of the piece’s sculpture. [Rishel] Rodin says himself “What makes my Thinker think is that he thinks not only with his brain, but with his knitted brow, with his distended nostrils, and his compressed lips. With every muscle of his arms, back and legs, and the clinched fist and the gripping toes.” This is a total thinking machine. [di Suvero] Real, human effort to make a visual document for a thought. How are you going to take essentially a thought, which is lighter than air and between people and you can’t touch it? So taking The Thinker, making him naked, making him furrowed browed, with a fist in his chin, as if he is thinking, is the closest thing that one can come. Look at the stone that The Thinker is sitting on. The bronze stone is most definitely not a chair and is not something that he has come out of. It’s just a place just to be and it works because it is as opposite to a thought as well, what is more opposite to thinking than a stone. [Rishel] He’s really giving a very big effort to something very serious, which is the thought. What is that thought? I leave to you, but that’s the fun of looking at this.

19 thoughts on “The Thinker by artist Auguste Rodin – Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO

  1. It looks like he is sitting on the can thinking that he forgot to by toilet paper. Anyway, it is a very impressive work by Rodan considering he must have been interrupted many times by and had to fight off Godzilla to get this statue finished.

  2. If I was The Thinker I would be thinking about how I no longer have a clenched fist like Rodin designed me to have, as in WTF?

  3. VISITED: 1:12 NOON.
    11 /9 /2018.

  4. "Rodin first conceived the figure as part of his work The Gates of Hell"(The Thinker
    , From Wikipedia)

    "The Gates of Hell (…) is a monumental sculptural group work by French artist Auguste Rodin that depicts a scene from the Inferno"(The Gates of Hell, From Wikipedia)
    ""realm … of those who have rejected spiritual values by yielding to bestial appetites or violence, or by perverting their human intellect to fraud or malice against their fellowmen". " (Inferno (Dante)
    , From Wikipedia)
    "Inspiration – Rodin conceived that people would walk toward the work, perhaps up a flight of stairs, and be overwhelmed frontally by the massive gates, contemplating the experience of hell that Dante describes in his Inferno. Rodin thought particularly of Dante's warning over the entrance of the Inferno, "Abandon every hope, who enter here."" (The Gates of Hell
    , From Wikipedia)

    If I were to interpret "the thinker" is ether "the new man" that people of that time were trying to make. Or just an alienated man.
    He is larger than life, he forms the world for him self, and he sits outside the gates of hell.

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