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Art & Design

Auguste Rodin, The Hand of God, before, Museum Appropriation Fund

On View

Auguste Rodin

gallery location RA511.European4

The Hand of God

Auguste Rodin French, 1840-1917
The Hand of God, before
100.3 x 82.6 x 68 cm (39 1/2 x 32 1/2 x 26 3/4 inches)
Museum Appropriation Fund 23.005

Rodin’s The Hand of God has been viewed not only as a metaphorical representation of the creation of man but also as a commentary on the sculptor’s role as creator. The emblematic hand that emerges from a block of roughly hewn marble represents the Divine Creator forming the bodies of Adam and Eve interlocked in a primal embrace. In contrast to the figures’ slender, attenuated limbs, the sinewy hand was perceived by critics as that of a working man. Together, the well-defined hand and the ephemeral figures bridge Rodin’s interests in both realist and symbolist art. One of three known marble versions of The Hand of God, RISD’s sculpture was purchased directly from Rodin by Samuel P. Colt (1852-1921) of Rhode Island. The Museum acquired it after Colt’s death.

  • 1916 or 1917-1923, Purchased from the artist by Samuel P. Colt; 1923, Purchased by (RISD Museum), Providence, RI

Also from Made in the UK: Contemporary Art from the Richard Brown Baker Collection

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