From our correspondence with one of the other Symposium speakers, Prof. David Schaff, a discussion thread developed that focussed on the various plaster and bronze versions of the enlarged Thinker. Between 1902 and 1904, Rodin had his assistant Lebossé create a monumental enlargement, that was first exposed as a plaster sculpture in London, Paris, Dresden, Leipzig and Louisiana in 1904. A bronze version was financed by public subscription and placed in front of the Panthéon in Paris in April 1906 (moved to the Musée Rodin in 1922). Within a short period of time, the large Thinker has become a nearly universal symbol of human contemplation and over 25 bronze examples are exhibited now worldwide.
Especially in Asia (Taiwan, Korea, Japan, China), this sculpture is currently highly appreciated as a specimen of European art and as an expression of Western rationalism more generally. But when we tried to set up an online overview of the known plaster and bronze copies, we had to learn that many catalogue descriptions are incomplete or even erroneous. You can read our findings on our separate project Website www.PENSEUR.org.
In the year 2004 the Thinker enlargement celebrates its 100th
anniversary. By now, we are able to present first results comparing the
Strasbourg and the Poznan Thinker to each other. We have also documented other Rodin works, especially in smaller European
Museum collections, so that they can be compared to each other and to
well-known reference models, for example. We also have an invitation to come over to
Canada, to examine and document the Rudier Foundry plasters, but the
sponsoring of this trip has not been finalized yet.