Continuing its strong connection to French art and history, Abu Dhabi Louvre has had ‘The Thinker’ shipped in to be put on display for a year. Created by Auguste Rodin in the 1800s, ‘The Thinker’ is a massive bronze statue and is widely considered one of Rodin’s masterpieces.

The sculpture is one loan for a year from the Rodin Museum in Paris. Many versions of ‘The Thinker’ have been made before, during and after Rodin’s life, with versions as far as Australia, US and Switzerland. The one on loan to Abu Dhabi however is considered one of the originals and dates back to sometime in 1881 or 1882.

“The sculpture itself is majestic and it’s extremely powerful,” Souraya Noujaim, in charge of collections at the museum, told The Associated Press. “Rodin is one of the most iconic and most universal artists, so we’ve got really to have it in Louvre Abu Dhabi.”

“Rodin was one of the first artists to get really free from the academic schools. This is why we have it in this gallery, addressing the birth of modernity,” she said.

Rodin during his time was seen as highly controversial, instead of depicting beauty, romanticism and idealism in Europe, he often opted for more realistic depictions of humanity.

Check out Abu Dhabi Louvre’s 10,000 Years of Luxury here

‘The Thinker’, originally called ‘The Poet’ was part of a larger work by Rodin called ‘The Gates of Hell’ depicting a scene from the immensely famous poem ‘Dante’s Inferno’. ‘The Thinker’ is believed to perhaps show the main character of Dante, an intellectual and poet. ‘The Thinker’ is said to depict the concept of philosophy and a muscular body was chosen to highlight the power and strength of intelligence.  

‘The Gates of Hell’ 

Noujaim said the museum wanted to cast ‘The Thinker’ as contemplating the modern human condition.

Abu Dhabi Louvre has had a handful of Rodin’s works on display in the past according to The National. The celebration of the controversial French sculpture goes so far that the museum is even holding a ballet in tribute of the infamous artist in mid-December.

The museum has on many occasions brought in works from Paris, the home of the first Louvre. The museum this year is running the ‘Rendezvous in Paris’ exhibition showcasing works of Picasso, Chagall and Modigliani, though all the works aren’t from French artists, they were loaned from French institutions like the Centre Pompidou.

Check out more of the exhibitions at the Abu Dhabi Louvre here.

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