The Thinker was conceived as representing Dante, the central figure of Rodin’s monumental The Gates of Hell. Rodin considered this figure in broad universal terms to symbolize the powerful internal struggle of the creative human mind. Rodin soon designed The Thinker as an independent sculpture. In 1904 he displayed the first over-life-size enlargement at the Paris Salon, where Dr. Max Linde, a German collector, acquired cast no. 3. In 1922 Horace Rackham purchased this cast from Dr. Linde and donated it to the museum, where it is placed at the Woodward Avenue entrance.