Auguste Rodin, the French artist and sculptor known for his iconic 19th-century work The Thinker, died 100 years ago in 1917. Now he’s making a claim to 21st-century fame by being honored on a series of coins from the Monnaie de Paris – including a 2017 French 2 Euro bimetallic circulating commemorative coin. While Rodin, born on November 12, 1840 in Paris, France, is widely noted by art critics as a forefather of modern sculptural arts, he was formally trained in traditional sculpture. Rodin’s art captures an array of themes, including mythology and human realism, and he was skilled in using clay to create complex, deeply detailed forms. Though widely revered today, Rodin’s art was often panned by many of his contemporaries. Rodin lived to see his work earn acclaim, especially by government officials and individuals in the art community.
Among Rodin’s early works is The Age of Bronze, an 1876 sculpture that is so realistic the artist was charged with casting a real human model – an accusation Rodin vehemently denied. In the years that followed, Rodin created two of his most popular works, including a marble sculpture known as The Kiss (1889) and The Thinker, which was conceived as a plaster piece circa 1880 and later gained fame as a bronze cast in 1904. Before his death on November 17, 1917, Rodin completed many other works, including Cupid and Psyche (1898), The Gates of Hell (1917), and Eve (1881). In addition to sculptures, many of them nude, Rodin completed thousands of prints and drawings.
Rodin is honored on the circulating, bimetallic 2017 French 2 Euro coin, which features the artist’s bust on the obverse of the coin alongside a depiction of his famous sculpture The Thinker. In addition to his appearance on the 2 Euro coin, Rodin also is honored on France’s 2017 10 Euro and 100 Euro commemorative silver coins, which share the obverse design seen on the 2 Euro coin.
The obverse of the 2017 Rodin French 2 Euro coins features a thoughtful depiction of the artist, who is aptly paired on the coin with a partial figure of his contemplative sculpture known as The Thinker. Joaquin Jimenez engraved the obverse of the coin, which shows Rodin sporting a rugged beard and appearing as he did during the height of his artistic career in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Rodin appears on the center right side of the obverse at three-quarters profile, looking pensively toward his sculpture. The rightward-facing male figure represented in The Thinker appears to be pressing his forehead upon the artist’s, symbolizing the deeply reflective nature of both Rodin and his introspective The Thinker.
Rodin and The Thinker appear together within a cameo segment that is encircled by 12 stars representing the European Union. On the bottom right of the cameo device are the inscriptions “A. Rodin”, which appears to be a replication of his signature, and the dual date “1917-2017” indicating the centennial of Rodin’s death. The acronym RF, indicating the coin’s nation of origin (République Française) is found atop the coin between Rodin’s head and that of the statue. To the left of the RF inscription is the mintmark of the French Mint, represented by a cornucopia. To the right is seen a small pentagon, which is the trademark of French Mint Director Yves Sampo.
The reverse of the 2017 Rodin French 2 Euro coin features a familiar design by Luc Luycx shared on the reverse of most Euro coins. The design incorporates a geographical outline of the continent of Europe superimposed by the word EURO and six vertical bars.
Each end of the six bars is capped by a single star, which collectively represents the 12 stars of the European Union. On the left side of the reverse is a large numeral 2 to indicate the coin’s 2 Euro denomination. Luycx’s initials, LL, are seen under the “O” of EURO.
The edge of the 2017 Auguste Rodin 2 Euro Bimetallic Coin is reeded. It bears the inscription “2 * * 2 * * 2 * * 2 * * 2 * * 2 * *”.
Designer(s): Designer Joaquin Jimenez has designed coins and medals for the Monnaie de Paris since 1986. His Starry Tree design serves as the national side of the French 1 and 2-euro circulating coins (View Designers Profile). Luc Luycx is a computer engineer and medalist from Belgium (View Designer’s Profile).
|Year Of Issue:||2017|
|Mint Mark:||cornucopia (Monnaie de Paris)|
|Mintage:||10,000,000 (Circ.); 10,000 (Unc.); 10,000 (Proof)|
|Alloy:||Nickel Inner Core and Copper-Nickel Outer Ring|
|OBV Designer||Joaquin Jimenez|
|REV Designer||Luc Luycx|
|Quality:||Business Strike, Uncirculated, Proof|
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