All art is a representation of a condition in existence that gave birth to thoughts from which the work unravels through the artist’s dexterity. To love art is to appreciate the expression of what preceded that expression, and in essence to admire the artist’s effort. One of the most beautiful manifestations of what precedes the interpretation by an eye, mind, and hand of specifically the human condition, is a sculpture by Auguste Rodin, namely The Thinker.
At about two meters tall, the statue is imposing. It is cast in bronze, with the male subject, sitting nude upon a stone, legs slightly tucked below him and firmly resting on the stone. His left arm reposes upon the left leg, though his mind does not rest, and the right arm is tucked under the chin. His thoughtful eyes gaze into a depth beyond tangible description, and his contemplative visage expresses a profound pondering.
Auguste Rodin created the work around 1910. It was originally to be part of a larger collection of works for which Rodin was commissioned by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Museum of Decorative Arts) in 1880. The project was to depict the major characters and scenes from Dante’s work “Divine Comedy”. Though it took Rodin more than ten years of work on the project, he never completely finished the work.
As a sculptor, Rodin’s aim was to portray nature “as is”, rather than to form smooth sculptures with familiar themes expressed in the former Renaissance period. His superb knowledge of human anatomy allowed Rodin to skillfully interpret the human form in the clay he used for sculpturing, and then create the accompanying bronze statue. He diverged from the norm of his day, by means of his vibrant artwork. Similar to the Impressionists, who also created a style of their own, Rodin expressed reality they way he saw it. Although he was criticized for his style, he did not assimilate, and his work is now known prominent and recognized as the beautiful art that it is.
My own life relates to the sculpture in that it conveys a theme of thoughtfulness that I experience in my own life. I have many friends who are deep thinkers. We enjoy having discourse about subjects in the spectrum of knowledge and wisdom that instigates lively pondering and requires eloquent speaking. We speak in a manner similar to the rich art expressed by Rodin. As he did in his own life, we diverge from the norm of expression in our day, and create discourse in the natural sense, rather than in pre-determined themes. Our minds are like the line of originality to which our thoughts come infinitely close, as does any asymptote in a Cartesian plane.
Art is in essence the expression of the natural form as perceived by the eye. In much the similar way, I admire the expression of thought. Thoughts must be unabridged by the norm, but must spur from the mind in the same way as Rodin’s artwork came forth from his imagination. I am at times a contrarian in my thoughts. It is not only art in sculpture that may have to go against the norm, but also thoughts, from which art originates.
Garden Fountains. Garden Fountains, 2010. Web. 20 May 2010.
Rodin, Auguste. The Thinker. 1910. Preble’s Artforms. Ed. Patrick Frank. 9th ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2009. 371. Print.