A cast of Auguste Rodin's The Thinker provided the top lot in yesterday's (December 4) auction of the Marabou Collection in Sweden.
The sculpture formed just part of the collection of the Throne-Holst family, the founders of Sweden's premier chocolate brand. It sold for an impressive $2.3m as the highest selling lot of the auction.
The Thinker was first created as a detail from Monet's Gate of Hell, a commissioned piece that acted as the door to Paris' Musee des Arts Decoratifs. Cast in 1902, the original piece is currently housed in the French capital's Musee Rodin.
Reportedly, the sculpture was originally dubbed The Thinker by workers at the foundry that first cast it, who compared it to Michelangelo's depiction of Lorenzo de Medici, named Il Penseroso (The Thinker).
Rodin produced more than 20 bronze casts of epic proportions, which have been spread across museums around the world. Buoyed by its international success, the artist also created numerous smaller casts of the sculpture, with the present example thought to have been cast between 1915 and 1925.
Twice signed by the artist, on both the exterior and interior, the piece also bears the foundry mark of Alexis Rudier Fondeur, Paris. Patinated by Jean Limet, who was chosen by Rodin himself for the task, it is one of just 10 known examples cast during the period.
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