(3 Nov 2019) LEAD IN:
One of the most famous statues in the world has just gone on show at the Louvre in the UAE.
‘The Thinker’, who sits in his iconic position contemplating the world, joins artist Auguste Rodin’s other famous statue, ‘The Walking Man’.
The head bent down resting on a hand. A furrowed brow and pressed lips. Muscles sculpted with a level of realism
‘The Thinker’, possibly one of the most famous sculptures of all time, has found a new home at the Louvre Abu Dhabi
The bronze sculpture is on loan for a year from the Rodin Museum in Paris. It’s one of the original castings made by Auguste Rodin himself, between 1881 and 1882.
“I mean Rodin is one of the most iconic and most universal artists so we’ve got really to have it in Louvre Abu Dhabi. And he is also a great sculptor and the sculpture itself is majestic and it’s extremely powerful,” says Souraya Noujaim from Louvre Abu Dhabi
‘The Thinker’, originally called ‘The Poet’, was originally part of Rodin’s larger work ‘The Gates of Hell’, depicting a scene from Dante’s Inferno.
The man located above the door panels portrays Dante looking down at the circles of hell.
The original sculpture which sits on top of the gate, and is just over 70 centimeters high, became a work of art on its own and was exhibited individually in 1888.
The sculpture was enlarged in 1904 and many large-scale castings of the sculpture exist worldwide today, including the one in the garden of the Rodin Museum
There were also different study sized sculptures and plaster versions made by Rodin or under his supervision.
Through his work, Rodin paid great attention to every part of the body and to the texture of the skin. He treated every part as a whole. The Thinker’s intense state of contemplation, for instance, is apparent not just in the positioning of the head resting on the hand; It’s represented in the clinched fist and the gripping toes, in the tightened arm and back muscles and in the knitted brow and compressed lips
In the late 1800 Rodin’s work was a far cry from the decorative thematic sculptures of the time.
He stepped away from the idealism of the Greeks and the decorative aspects of the Baroque movement and instead modeled the human body realistically showing detailed texture on the surface. He traded the perfect postures for a fluid more realistic movement of the body.
Rodin’s figures didn’t follow the form of cathedral sculptures of the time either; his tormented figures showed chaos and disorder, suffering and conflict.
The Thinker, now sitting in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s modern gallery, is one of a number of works by Rodin at the museum, some on loan and others as part of the permanent collection.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is home to Rodin’s sculpture ‘The Walking Man’. The two famous art works will share the limelight at the Louvre for one year.
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