Originally designed to depict Dante in a small-scale sculptural display about “The Divine Comedy,” “The Thinker” under the artist’s touch evolved into a kind of Everyman, albeit a very tall one—six foot six inches tall.
Cast in bronze, he is naked and seated on a pedestal. He leans forward, elbow on knee, his chin resting on his hand in a position mimicked by Dobie Gillis and countless others over the years in TV, the arts, and life.
The first large format version of “The Thinker” debuted in Paris in 1904, when its creator was an old man. His genius work of art will never grow old.
Now there are multiple casts of “The Thinker” in museums around the world including this one at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor, which visitors see in the courtyard as they approach the front entrance. There are dozens of other gorgeous Rodins in the museum’s collection as well. Plus, the hilltop setting offers spectacular views of another San Francisco landmark: the Golden Gate Bridge.—Kevin Nelson