The Vulcan's Forge And The Thinker By Auguste Rodin

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Auguste Rodin is perhaps best known for his iconic bronze sculpture The Thinker. Amongst his other works is another bronze piece titled The Vulcan’s Forge, cast in 1905. The rectangular relief sculpture features a group of five ancient Roman men smithing at a forge. The group is transfixed on their tiring task to the point that they have no connection to the world around them, nor do they have notable purpose; they are slaves to their work. Additionally, the juxtaposition of archaic subject matter in a modern piece leads me to believe Rodin is opposed to classical hypermasculinity and the traditional idea that hard work is done by men. The sculpture is the color of the alloy it is cast in and has a smooth, shiny surface. Despite the overall smoothness of the piece, the artist manages to convey the coarse texture of curly hair and the slight roughness of concrete ground. Rodin also accurately portrays folds and wrinkles of clothing, as well as the flexion of muscles. The piece is roughly two feet long and one and a half feet high; the two largest figures’ bodies are nearly as long as the composition’s height, making them appear imprisoned with nowhere to move. …show more content…
In a half-lunge is the leftmost man who holds the metal on the anvil with his arms downward, like one would hold a golf club. The man second from the left holds his arms away from his body, as if he just picked up his sledgehammer and is about to work. Raising a hammer above his head is the middle worker, who looks ready to strike the metal. It reminds me of the stance someone would take when testing their strength at a carnival. The man second from the right has his hands on the ends of the hammer handle, with the right hand coming to his hip and the left at his thigh. The rightmost man’s legs are slightly more raised than the man across from him. His hands at his right shoulder, much like one would hold a baseball

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