The Thinker by Rodin: where it is housed and who the man portrayed is

il Pensatore di Rodin


The Thinker by Rodin was exhibited for the first time in 1886 under the title “The Poet” and only starting from 1889 was named “The Thinker”.
It’s one of the most famous works of the sculptor Auguste Rodin and after writing the post The Kiss by Rodin: where you can admire I had to dedicate a special post to this great masterpiece.

The Thinker by Auguste Rodin

Museo Rodin | il Pensatore

At the beginning The Thinker by Rodinwas conceived as part of the great composition of “The Gates of Hell”, the bronze doorway Rodin had to make for the “Musée des Arts Décoratifs”.


“The Gates of Hell” was a monumental work, which was never completed, inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy.
This sculpture, originally named “The Poet”, had to be put just in front of the door to represent Dante Alighieri while thinking about his great journey and his poem.

Therefore,The Thinker by Rodin is simply the representation of Dante, but soon it lost any reference to the original idea, and the sculpture has become the symbol of the artist and his torment during the creative process.


This image of a man deep in thought, but with a strong body and which suggests a great capacity for action, in the large-size bronze and plaster statue made in 1904 has conveyed many meanings which have made the work very famous.
Looking at The Thinker by Rodin you feel like you’re looking at the artist in the moment of creation, or at the modern man lost in his sufferings.

Thanks to a subscription organized by Rodin’s admirers The Thinker by Rodinwas placed in front of the Pantheon in Paris in 1906 (it’s the artwork which is now housed at the Musée Rodin). But there are several versions of The Thinker all over the world and in total the museums housing them are about twenty.
For example, in Italy you can admire the Thinker at the Ca’ Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art in Venice.

READ ALSO – The Doge’s Palace in Venice: works, entrance tickets and opening times

Auguste Rodin wanted a version of The Thinker also on his tomb in Meudon: in fact he wanted that his most famous work would become his tombstone and epitaph.

Auguste Rodin | il Pensatore

Una foto che ritrae Rodin mentre osserva il Pensatore. Foto realizzata da Edward Steichen

READ ALSO – Rodin and Camille Claudel: a love and an art story

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12 thoughts on “The Thinker by Rodin: where it is housed and who the man portrayed is

  1. Trovarsi inaspettatamente di fronte alla statua a Ca’ Pesaro e pensare:
    rimanendo di stucco difronte a questa meraviglia, è un’emozione unica!
    Visitare un museo e trovarsi di fronte un’opera d’arte famosa senza sapere che fosse conservata proprio lì, è un’emozione che solo un museo ti può dare!

  2. Ho visto il pensatore di Auguste Rodin alla
    Burrell Collection di Glasgow Scotland Regno Unito. Non sapevo che avrei avuto modi di vedere questa scultura e sono rimasta profondamente colpita.

  3. Il Pensatore è esposto anche nella hall di entrata al Museo de la Aduana (chiamato cosí perchè è situato nell’edificio della antica dogana) a San José, capitale del Costa Rica. Forse lo sappiamo solo noi josefini, nelle guide turistiche non lo ho mai sentito menzionare. Un motivo in più per conoscere il Costa Rica.

  4. Visto ai Musei Vaticani. Lascia senza fiato, insieme alle tantissime opere di arte contemporanea lì conservate in un dialogo perfetto con i capolavori dei secoli passati.

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