(b. 1840, Paris, d. 1917, Meudon)
Marble, 61 x 105 x 43 cm
Musée Rodin, Paris
A few of the many compositions included in The Gates of Hell evolved into the masterpieces that still symbolize Rodin's genius today. These are The Thinker, The Kiss, and Ugolino. In addition to these major works, a few other figures populating The Gates of Hell deserve mention, such as the centaurs, mythological creatures that became demons, and who were charged with guarding and torturing looters, tyrants, and murderers. Rodin also produced human figures that would in turn take on an independent life: one man was transformed into a free-standing figure known as The Falling Man, who was then combined with The Crouching Woman to become I Am Beautiful, while his enlarged torso would become Marsyas. The group titled Fugit Amor would be elaborated in several versions, the man becoming, on his own, The Prodigal Son.
Alone, at the foot of the right pilaster, is the solitary image of a bearded old man, The Creator, Rodin's self-portrait that could be considered the artist's signature, like medieval masters he has included himself in his work.