Remember the famous sculpture The Thinker? The artist known for The Thinker is Auguste Rodin. François-Auguste-René Rodin was born in a poor section of Paris, France, on November 12, 1840. He was the second son of Jean-Baptiste Rodin and Marie Cheffer. His father was employed as a clerk at the police department. He had one sister, Maria, who was two years older. Because of his nearsightedness, Auguste struggled in school, but seemed to find contentment while drawing. Largely self-taught up to the age of 13, he began his formal schooling at the age of 14 at Ecole Imperiale Speciale de Dessin et de Mathematiques, where he studied painting and drawing. For the next four years, he learned the basic skills of an artist.
Learn more about this famous artist with these free resources. Print a high quality biography, complete a word search activity, and even learn to sculpt. Enjoy the art gallery below too.
Auguste Rodin Lesson Resources
The Thinker (1902) by Auguste Rodin | Bronze Sculpture
The Thinker was initially a figure created for The Gates of Hell. The work shows a larger than life-size man sitting on a rock with his chin resting on one hand as if to be deep in thought. The work was named The Thinker by foundry workers, who saw a certain similarity to Michelangelo’s sculpture of Lorenzo de Medici called “Il Penseroso” (The Thinker).
Gates of Hell (1880-1917) by Auguste Rodin | Bronze Doors
Gates of Hell is a monumental sculpture depicting a scene from “The Inferno”, the first section of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. It stands at 19 feet high, 13 feet wide and 3 feet deep, with 180 figures. Some of the figures created for this project became separate and independent works, including The Thinker, The Three Shades, and The Kiss.
The Burghers of Calais (1884-1889) by Auguste Rodin | Bronze Sculpture
The Burghers of Calais was commissioned by the town of Calais to commemorate the six citizens of Calais who gave their lives to save their fellow townspeople. It is one of Rodin’s most acclaimed works.