Auguste Rodin

Generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture, this French artist’s most famous works include The Thinker. One cast of Rodin’s The Thinker sits in active creative thought in front of the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. “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 fist and gripping toes.” I passed by the almost 7-foot-tall bronze sculpture hundreds of times as a passenger in childhood. I didn’t pay much attention to the figure’s clenched and gripping digits then.

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