The Thinker
Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917)
On View

The image of The Thinker is not that of a passive dreamer, but of a man actively engaged in creative thought. Thinking has been expressed not only through the meditative attitude of the body, but through the effort of every muscle. As Rodin said, "What makes my Thinker think is that he thinks not only with his brain, with his knitted brow, his distended nostrils and compressed lips, but with every muscle of his arms, back and legs, with his clenched fists and gripping toes."


  • Artist Name: Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917)
  • Title: The Thinker
  • Date: 1880
  • Medium: Bronze
  • Edition: Edition of 12, Cast No. 11
  • Dimensions: 79 x 38 x 59 in. (200.7 x 96.5 x 149.9 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation
  • Accession Number: M.1970.2.S
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation

Object Information

The Essential Gesture

  • Newport Harbor Art Museum, 1994-10-15 to 1994-12-31

[on loan]

  • Phoenix, Phoenix Art Museum, 1970-02-20 to

[on loan]

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1970-08-07 to
  • Sculpture Garden, Norton Simon Museum, no. 1
  • Los Angeles Times,
  • Tancock, J., The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin, 1976, p. 121
  • The Essential Gesture, 1994,
  • Fort, Irene S., The Figure in American Sculpture: A Question of Modernity, 1995, no. 21 p. 27
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 727 p. 332

Additional Artwork by Artist

Jean de Fiennes, Vetu Auguste Rodin 1884-95
Monument to Balzac Auguste Rodin 1897
Mouvement de Danse G Auguste Rodin c.1910-11

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