Rodin’s ‘Thinker’ cast fetches $11.1 million at auction in Paris
The auction house, Christie’s, had estimated that the cast, one of some 40 outstanding genuine, would reach between 9 and 14 million euros. The record for a Rodin « Thinker » was set at a Sotheby’s New York auction in 2013, when one sold for $15.3 million.
A woman takes a photo of the artwork ahead of Thursday’s auction in Paris. Credit: Sarah Meyssonnier/Reuters
When designed by Rodin in 1880 in its original size of approximately 70 centimeters (28 inches) « Le Penseur » was called « Le Poète » and was to be the crowning achievement of « La Porte de l’Enfer », another major work by the French sculptor.
The sculpture originally depicted Dante, the medieval Italian poet and author of the « Divine Comedy », leaning forward to observe the circles of Hell, while meditating on his work.
While remaining in place on the monumental « Gate of Hell », « The Thinker » was exhibited individually in 1888 and thus became an independent work.
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The statue was first enlarged in 1904, and monumental human-sized versions of the statue such as the one on display at the Rodin Museum in Paris proved even more popular, with its image of a man lost in thought but whose the powerful body suggests a great capacity for action.
The copy sold this Thursday by Christie’s was the size of the original model.
Top image caption: A cast of ‘The Thinker’ by French sculptor Auguste Rodin is displayed ahead of its auction at Christie’s auction house in Paris, France, June 27, 2022.