University Archives

Lot 263

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Auguste Rodin 2x Signed Handsome Display Featuring His Most Iconic Sculpture, "The Thinker"

An elegant framed display featuring two nice autographs of French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917). At left, a black and white studio portrait produced by Kivatizloy, Paris is signed as "Aug Rodin" at center right. A vintage French postcard showing Rodin's masterpiece "Le Penseur," signed as "Aug Rodin" along its pedestal, can be found at right; it is signed more boldly than the portrait. The two images are displayed side by side and framed behind glass within a gilt frame with cobalt blue velvet matting. Not examined out of the frame. The overall framed size is 14.125" x 11" x 1.25."

Auguste Rodin was recognized as an artistic genius even during his lifetime. His sculpture in clay, plaster, marble, and bronze incorporated classical visual elements from the ancient world and Renaissance Italy, but also experimented with more emotive realism. The result mesmerized modern audiences.

In 1880, Rodin was awarded a commission to design the portal of a decorative arts museum in Paris. His resultant unfinished work was entitled "Gates of Hell" and depicted 186 high relief sculptures inspired by characters and scenes from Dante Alighieri's "The Inferno." Several of the figural groupings slated for the unfinished project are among Rodin's most famous creations, such as "Le Penseur" ["The Thinker"], ca. 1879-1889, and "Le Baiser" ["The Kiss"], ca. 1882.

"The Thinker" became Rodin's signature work and has been reproduced in a variety of materials and sizes both during Rodin's lifetime and after. One of the most instantly recognizable pieces of artwork in the world, "The Thinker" perfectly embodies that most human of all characteristics: self-reflection.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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September 30, 2020 10:30 AM EDT

Westport, CT, US

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