The Hand of God, Rodin

The Hand of God, Rodin
The Hand of God, Rodin

Auguste Rodin is one of the most famous sculptors of all time and is considered one of the fathers of modern sculpture; Throughout the 19th century, the painters of the Impressionist movement had created a new dimension in which painting was gradually developing in search of new forms of expression, however, sculpture had remained anchored to the classicist traditionalism of earlier stages. In this sense, Rodin's sculpture was a turning point from which the artistic currents of previous times were abandoned to demonstrate that artistic innovation also had a place in the world of sculpture.


Auguste Rodin (1840 – 1917) was born in Paris into a middle-class family. Unlike the rest of the artists of his time, Rodin never studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris since he was never accepted there. He trained at the School of Decorative Arts and was often underestimated for it, however Rodin soon understood that if he really wanted to stand out in the field of sculpture he had to know perfectly the object of his study, man; In this way the artist deepened his anatomical study a fact that caused him more than a few headaches by causing envy among other artists of his time.

The work that we analyze here called The Hand of God or The Creation is a piece of marble that barely reaches a meter ofheight and that it seems must have been made in the final stage of its production. A perfectly defined hand emerges from a piece of raw and undevastated marble, in which the marks of the artist's tools can be seen, both in its musculature and in a fine and smooth finish. The hand -a representation of the figure of the Creator- welcomes in its bosom two human figures that apparently have just been molded from a raw mass like the one that acts as a base. They are the representation of Adam and Eve who, placed in the fetal position, snuggle up to the warmth of the hand that gave them life and do not seem to want to escape from it.

In the figure of Eve we can especially appreciate the strong influence that the work of the Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti had on the modernist artist, Rodin's Eve is undoubtedly inspired by the representation that the Florentine made of the Day in the Tomb of the Medici.

The Hand of God has its alter ego in a sculpture called The Hand of the Devil that Rodin made at the same time and in which an amalgamation of what appear to be human torsos struggle to escape the stone without devastating. But the work that we analyze here is only a sample of what this genius of sculpture was capable of transmitting just with the representation of hands which, for him, had their own artistic character.

Popular topic