A posthumous cast of The Thinker by Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) is to be auctioned on 30 June at Christie’s Paris with an estimate of €9m to €14m.
It was made around 1928 at the Rudier Foundry, the family business founded by Alexis Rudier (1845-1897) who collaborated with Antoine Bourdelle and Aristide Maillol, before his son Eugène (1875-1952) took over.
Rudier’s cast will be the highlight of a larger sale devoted to the collection from a Parisian apartment entirely designed by the French-Moroccan decorator Alberto Pinto (1943-2012). It features 238 items, including works by Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse and Yves Klein, as well as acquisitions from the 1993 sale of the collection of French designer Hubert de Givenchy. The entire collection is expected to make between €26m to €40m.
Initially called The Poet, The Thinker is based on Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy and was created around 1880 as part of the Gates of Hell, a group of sculptures which Rodin worked on for around 30 years, although the museum of decorative arts that it was intended for never saw the light of day. It became The Thinker in 1888 when shown on its own in Copenhagen—it was later enlarged and presented at the 1904 Paris Salon.
The bronze will travel to New York, Hong Kong and London before going to Paris, where it will be exhibited for a week before the sale.