Sharjah24 – Reuters: French sculptor Auguste Rodin’s iconic ‘The Thinker’ will go up for auction in Paris on Thursday 30 June.
The bronze cast, created around 1928 and belonging to a private collection in Paris, is expected to fetch between 9 and 14 million euros (9.5 to 14.8 million US dollars) at a Christie’s auction.
There are about 40 copies of “The Thinker”, mostly cast after Rodin’s death in 1917.
“Today, there are only about ten casts left in private ownership,” said Lea Bloch, specialist in impressionism and modern art at Christie.
The sculpture for sale is signed A. Rodin, with the foundry mark of Alexis Rudier, a Parisian workshop where most of Rodin’s bronzes were cast.
Much smaller than the life-size “Thinker” on display in the gardens of the Rodin Museum in Paris and versions of the sculpture at Columbia University in New York and the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, the auction cast of 71 .3 cm tall was designed as part of the artist‘s masterpiece “The Gates of Hell”.
Rodin’s “The Thinker” originally depicted the poet Dante, contemplating his writings. But the sculptor decided to remove all the attributes of Dante from the work and create a universal symbol of thought and creative genius.
“This masterpiece by Rodin is very important because we can really see his very modern way of looking at the human body – very muscular, but also in motion, in full questioning, in doubt,” said Bloch, adding that this is probably why the work “resonates”. as one of the purest expressions today of what the creative process really is.
“What makes my ‘Thinker’ think is that he thinks not just with his brain, with his furrowed forehead, distended nostrils and compressed lips, but with every muscle in his arms, back and his legs, with his clenched fist and gripping his toes,” Rodin said, as quoted by art historian J. Tancock.
The record sale for a cast of “The Thinker” was $15.2 million (€13.97 million) at a Sotheby’s auction in New York in 2013. This version, also 72 cm tall high, was commissioned by publishing magnate Ralph Pulitzer in 1906.