: Caption on reverse reads: "The Thinker - Cleveland Art Museum (1). Cleveland, Ohio."
The inscription on the plaque reads: "The Thinker by Auguste Rodin, gift of Ralph King."
The statue outside the Cleveland Museum of Art was badly damaged by vandalism in 1970 and is displayed in its unrepaired state.
The Thinker (the original) is a bronze and marble sculpture by Auguste Rodin held in the Musée Rodin in Paris. It depicts a man in sober meditation battling with a powerful internal struggle.
Over twenty monumental size bronze casts of the sculpture are in museums around the world. In addition there are sculptures of different study size scales and plaster models in both monumental and study sizes. There are some newer castings that have been produced posthumously and are not considered part of the original production.
Originally named The Poet, the piece was part of a commission by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris to create a monumental portal to act as the door of the museum. Rodin based his theme on The Divine Comedy of Dante and entitled the portal The Gates of Hell. Each of the statues in the piece represented one of the main characters in the epic poem. The Thinker was originally meant to depict Dante in front of the Gates of Hell, pondering his great poem. The sculpture is nude, as Rodin wanted a heroic figure in the tradition of Michelangelo, to represent intellect as well as poetry.
Rodin made a first small plaster version around 1880. The first large-scale bronze cast was finished in 1902, but not presented to the public until 1904. It became the property of the city of Paris – thanks to a subscription organized by Rodin admirers – and was put in front of the Panthéon in 1906. In 1922, it was moved to the Hôtel Biron, which was transformed into a Rodin Museum.
The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) is an art museum situated in Wade Park, in the University Circle neighborhood on Cleveland's east side. The Cleveland Museum of Art has remained historically true to the vision of its founders, being the only major American museum keeping general admission free to the public View on Ohio Memory.
: SA1039AV_B09F10_045_1 Subjects
: Bronze sculpture; Art museums--United States; Cleveland Museum of Art; Rodin, Auguste, 1840-1917. Thinker Places
: Cleveland (Ohio); Cuyahoga County (Ohio)