The Thinker Sculpture by Michelangelo

Auguste Rodin’s most renowned sculpture, The Thinker, was originally envisioned in 1880 as part of his epic project The Gates of Hell (a pair of bronze doors commissioned for a decorative arts museum).

Created separately, The Thinker came to symbolize creativity itself – its crouching position with lips compressed in mental strain encapsulating all that goes into making something new.

Auguste Rodin

Auguste Rodin’s Thinker Sculpture, depicting a solitary man deep in thought with his hands resting on his chin and an expression of thoughtful contemplation on his face, is one of the most beloved artworks. It resonates with people due to its image of intelligence and contemplation that appeals to so many.

Rodin was a French sculptor born in Paris who started his artistic journey as a carpenter before switching to sculpture. Although rejected by both the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs and Ecole de Beaux-Arts, Rodin persisted with his artistic pursuits.

Rodin revolutionized sculpture with his unconventional forms and often depicted figures in unique poses and settings. His dedication to realism, passion, and individuality contributed greatly to modern sculpture’s development; many contemporary artists consider his works an influential bridge between traditional and modern art forms.

Rodin was a sculptor who created his works from clay and bronze. He was greatly influenced by various artists and styles, including Michelangelo.

His early work was rejected by the Salon, but he soon made a name for himself. He became renowned for his figurative sculptures of human form such as The Kiss and The Thinker.

The Thinker was originally part of the Gates of Hell sculpture group, commissioned in 1880 and inspired by Dante Alighieri’s epic poem Inferno.

In 1900, The Thinker was taken from its original composition and displayed separately. This figure became one of the artist’s signature works and is now renowned around the globe.

As such, The Thinker has become one of the world’s most iconic sculptures and the subject of extensive art historical study. It truly is a powerful and intricate work of art that requires an in-depth comprehension to fully appreciate.


Michelangelo is one of the world’s most renowned and influential artists. His works are beloved around the globe, his talent inspiring many in the Renaissance movement that spread throughout Europe and even into Ottoman Empire.

He was born on March 6th, 1475 in Caprese, Italy to a small banker family. When their business failed, he had no choice but to leave his hometown and move to Florence where he began his career as an artist known for creating large-scale sculptures with expressive physicality. It was here that his fame would spread.

Michelangelo was an acclaimed artist, yet not always the most pleasant person to be around. His temperament could be volatile and critical, often leading to dissatisfaction with the work he created. Additionally, his difficulty communicating with other people led to him being very secretive and guarded in public spaces.

Rodin is believed to have been inspired to create The Thinker during his visit to Florence’s Medici Chapel, where Michelangelo had carved a portrait of Lorenzo de Medici sitting. According to Rodin, this figure’s hand was placed to his chin and his face was in shadow – features which he interpreted as typical melancholic poses. This experience would later influence his work’s style.

At the same time as creating The Thinker, Rodin was also working on another endeavor: a detail from the Gates of Hell. This detail had been modelled by Rodin during his initial year on the Gates and eventually evolved into its own independent work on a larger scale.

The original title of the sculpture was The Poet, reflecting its resemblance to Dante’s figure at The Gates of Hell. However, some art historians believe this figure represents more than just Dante; they speculate that Rodin himself might have contemplated his piece or Adam looking upon all his descendants’ sins with reflective eyes.

Thus, the sculpture has come to symbolize deep thought and contemplation. Its muscular body suggests intelligence, while its rugged facial features recall those of heroic nudes from classical art history.

Hugo Rheinhold

Auguste Rodin’s iconic The Thinker was originally created in 1904, and has become a beloved icon of art that has endured through the decades. When it first exhibited, critics were especially taken with its realistic representation of human emotion and thought.

This sculpture is inspired by Dante Alighieri’s epic poem The Divine Comedy. Dante’s epic poem depicts dreams and visions from various states of existence such as Hell, Purgatory and Paradise.

The Thinker is renowned for its artistic resemblance to Michelangelo’s sculpture of David. However, this allegorical work also mirrors the human nature that Dante created. The figure depicted is naked and appears to be in deep contemplation. This popular work continues to be replicated around the globe today; many copies of its original exist worldwide.

Hugo Rheinhold was a German sculptor who collaborated with Rodin. Both artists shared an enthusiasm for creating natural and realistic compositions through sculpture.

After creating his Affe mit Schadel sculpture, the German sculptor approached Rodin and asked to create a piece to complement The Gates of Hell. When Rodin agreed, he began working on The Thinker.

Rodin’s sculpture was inspired by Dante Alighieri’s epic poem, intended as his final creation. This work had become immensely popular at the time and it is believed this inspired Rodin to represent a reflective figure in his sculpture.

Rodin was also inspired by Michelangelo and his Renaissance contemporaries’ heroic nudes. To capture the eroticism of his time, Rodin chose to make The Thinker a naked figure.

It is believed that Picasso was inspired by the poses of German sculptor Hugo Rheinhold, making several sculptures similar to The Thinker such as an ape sitting atop a stack of books with calipers in its hand and skull in its head.

Gabriel Mourey

Gabriel Mourey (1894 – 1918) was a French writer, essayist and poet who also served as an art critic. His most renowned short story collection, Monada (1894), contains sixteen stories with a melancholy tone that offer readers an intriguing look into Decadent literature; now being translated into English for the first time.

He was also the editor of Les Arts de la vie and his articles on art were well-known throughout Paris’ art community. As a close friend of Rodin, he had an affinity for his works, particularly The Thinker Sculpture.

The Thinker was originally part of Rodin’s Gates of Hell sculpture, depicting characters from Dante’s Inferno. One scene depicting The Thinker depicts Paolo Malatesta and Francesca de Rimini’s tragic love story. Though this pairing was eventually removed from The Gates of Hell sculpture, its powerful image still serves to represent The Thinker today.

This work of art was a sensation among the press and received widespread recognition. In 2009, it even went on sale for three million Euros!

This sculpture’s meanings remain somewhat elusive, leading to various interpretations over the years. A common theory suggests that this statue depicts a man’s mind in deep thought and contemplation.

Contrary to popular belief, this statue is actually more a representation of someone’s imagination than their mind. Additionally, it serves as an excellent illustration for contemporary artists’ struggles in understanding themselves; its figure conveys the idea that someone struggles with understanding his own thoughts and emotions.

Another captivating aspect of this sculpture was its nude, which echoed Renaissance-era depictions of a hero with no clothes on. Rodin wanted to capture this romantic and poetic aesthetic rather than the more classical nudes he had encountered elsewhere in artworks.