• Recto of print
  • Verso of original mount
  • Verso of mount under infrared filter to show graphite inscriptions
  • Photomicrograph showing print surface (scale bar is in millimeters)
  • Photomicrograph showing print surface and low density area (scale bar is in micrometers)
  • AIC_1949-825_10a
  • Exhibition view showing a print of the work alongside works by S. Macdondal Wright, Francis Picabia, and Julia Margaret Cameron in Beginnings and Landmarks at An American Place (1937)
  • Exhibition view showing a print of the work in Photographs by Edward J. Steichen at the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession (1906)

Edward Steichen (American, born Luxembourg, 1879–1973)

Rodin, Le Penseur, 1902

Gum bichromate print; 26.2 x 32.6 cm (image/paper/mount)
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949.825
© 2016 The Estate of Edward Steichen/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Upon moving to Paris to pursue an artistic career, Steichen befriended Auguste Rodin. Created from two negatives, this print shows the sculptor with two of his works. Steichen combined an image of the silhouetted Rodin in front of his Monument to Victor Hugo with another, separate exposure of Le Penseur (The Thinker). This print depicts Monument to Victor Hugo in reverse, but it seems Steichen preferred this composition despite the fact that it was not true to Rodin’s sculpture.


The many graphite inscriptions on the mount verso are nearly invisible under regular light. Infrared photography reveals notations relating to the work’s exhibition history (“Dresden”) and framing decisions.


Alfred Stieglitz twice reproduced this photograph in Camera Work, once in 1905 and again in 1906, in a “Steichen Supplement” featuring 16 photogravures of Steichen’s works.


Additional resources related to this object are to the right. Comprehensive material analysis can be found in the Object Research PDF.