A Moment in Art History – Auguste Rodin’s “Adam” – Incomplete Perfection

When Auguste Rodin decided that Adam would be part of his Gates of Hell, he didn’t anticipate that the sculpture of the Biblical first man would never stand in a completed creation. In this Moment in Art History we examine the sculpture, the artist’s inspiration, and the unintentional statement of hope Rodin made by leaving the project unfinished.

How do you Feel about Rodin’s Adam?

I would love to hear your impressions of Rodin’s Adam. Do you like the sculpture? Have you seen any of the casts in person? What impact has it had on you and your art?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

About the Author: Jason Horejs

Jason Horejs is the Owner of Xanadu Gallery, author of best selling books "Starving" to Successful & How to Sell Art , publisher of reddotblog.com, and founder of the Art Business Academy. Jason has helped thousands of artists prepare themselves to more effectively market their work, build relationships with galleries and collectors, and turn their artistic passion into a viable business.


  1. My most favored sculptures by Auguste Rodin are “The Thinker” and the “Kiss”. His “Adam” expresses shame and downcast emotion through the turning/twisting motion of the body and the intricate detail of the muscles and flesh. Enjoyed your video.

  2. I was able to see some of his work in the museum in Philadelphia; walking among his sculptures both inside and outside the museum was impressive. The Burgers of Calais was so real—and each one had a different face, body structure—they looked like representations of real people.

  3. Thanks Jason, for taking time to make that video! I’ve had the pleasure to see Rodin’s work in London, Paris, San Francisco and Oslo. I like “Adam” and even a bit more after your video. But, my favourite is “La Danaide” and I did a recent painting based on that sculpture.

  4. Seeing ‘the THINKER’ in the garden of the Rodin Museum in Paris brought me to tears 💦

    ADAM, the Gates of Hell and more have a patina and strength that ‘move’ the viewer in their expression and naturalism.
    Treat yourself to a trip to Paris …and a croissant 🥐 while there! A highlight of my time there.

  5. I was immensely moved to see this sculpture at the Musée du Québec as a young adult. It was standing on a podium making it’s 6’3″ seem even more imposing. You could feel the powerful weight of the muscles released in an expression of emotion that was so overwhelming. I was lucky enough to have brought charcoal and paper and did a sketch if this very sculpture among others.

  6. The Burgers of Calais really left an impact on me at the museum in Paris. Sadness. Endless toil. Drudgery. Dejection. Hopelessness. …….

  7. Thanks for this thoughtful and informative review, Jason. I had the opportunity to see an extensive retrospective of Rodin’s work at the wonderful Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts this summer. Immersive and fascinating. I particularly enjoyed seeing some of the fine life drawing Rodin did. Amazing sculptures!

  8. The Rodin that sits in front of the Cleveland Museum of Art has shaped the way I think about art, meaning, and expression. When I was very young the sculpture was vandalized. https://www.clevelandart.org/research/library/how-to-research/rodins-the-thinker/vandalized
    At five years of age, I didn’t understand why someone would do that to something so beautiful and so profound. I like that it survived and still graces us with beauty and profundity even in it’s damaged state.

  9. I was at the same exhibition in São Paulo. I cried seeing all those Rodin sculptures, but he was not nice to Camile Claudet.

  10. Jason, Did Rodin paint with Monet and his plein air group of friends? The France trip was amazing. We saw so much art – we endeavored the Louvre, D’Orsay and Orangerie. Almost too much at once! I took 1077 photos, many of the art. I will be processing what we saw for years.

  11. Hi Jason – One of my favorite Rodin sculpture is the Gates of Hell, for the passion and energy that appears to actual move. I really enjoy your A Moment in Art History videos, along with Red Dot Blog. Thank you.

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